Blues

Nucifora calls for extended Super 14 play offs

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Blues coach David Nucifora says that his side’s thrilling 19-17 win over the Hurricanes at Eden Park on Friday night was as good a reason as any as to why an extended playoffs system could be employed in the Super 14.


No tries, and one penalty goal – the match winner, were scored in the second half but the end to end action, and some magnificent defence from both teams, had the near full house captivated.


Ironically, both teams could yet miss a place in the semi-finals as a result of the game. The Blues kept their semi-finals hopes alive while the Hurricanes were left rueing the loss knowing that at the best it has probably cost them a lucrative home semi-final, and at worst they could miss out completely.


But Nucifora who commented ruefully that it was just as well he was taking up a position in Australia because he didn’t know if he could take many more games like the one played out under such crucial conditions.


“It is a tough competition and it is possible both teams could miss out and that would be a shame, as both teams probably deserve to be there.


“But if you had a six teams finals play-offs system it would be a better outcome,” he told Sportal.


Nucifora also made the point that the Blues had lost 11 players from its semi-final team from last year and not many teams could do that and achieve what the side had done this year.


“I’m incredibly proud of what we’ve achieved,” he said.


The game itself had been ‘a great game of football’, he said.


“Everyone who was here got value for their money. Our guys were outstanding coming from 14-3 down to win in the manner we did. That’s something I’m pretty proud of,” he said.


“It was an outstanding game. Both teams played well, and we played extremely well,” he said.


Nucifora wasn’t quite so happy with the TMO decision, one of two within a few minutes that were both wiped out, that denied flanker Jerome Kaino a try.


The Blues coach said that there was nothing in the television evidence that he could see that said the try hadn’t been scored.


“When you come down to the last weeks, these tight calls matter when you take all the margins we work within,” he said.


Blues captain Troy Flavell said he was ‘stoked’ with the side which had shown strength and unity under great pressure.


“They showed a lot of self belief to fight our way back,” he said.

 

Super14.com

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