Blues shift focus after Super meltdown
REACTION: The Chiefs will start their preparation for a shot at glory, but for the Blues it is back to the proverbial drawing board.
The Blues finished Super Rugby Aotearoa’s regular season with a six-tries-to-one (39-19) romp against a second-string Chiefs team in Auckland on Saturday.
Instead, it is the Chiefs – who rested 21 of the match-day 23 – who will face the defending champion Crusaders in the Final next week.
The Blues – with four wins and four defeats – finish the season on 20 competition points.
The Chiefs, who were resting their first-choice teams for next week, also finished on 20 points, but progress to the Final courtesy of their extra victory over the eight-match campaign.
Blues captain Tom Robinson was happy with the win, but admitted it was not the performance they and season wanted.
“Sometimes you win ugly,” he said, adding the six-tries-to-one outcome was a good preparation for the upcoming Trans-Tasman competition.
“We spoke about how it might not come until the 70th or 80th minute and that’s what happened.
“However, a win like that can spark the team.”
Blues coach Leon MacDonald also rued the games they let slip earlier in a season that started with so much promise and hope.
“We were one win away from the Final, and that’s a long way, isn’t it,” MacDonald said in reflection of the season.
He said it was easy to pinpoint which games they let themselves down in.
“We are really disappointed not to be in the final.
“That was one of our targets at the start of the season.
“But we’ve got an opportunity for a new competition [the Trans-Tasman series], which is really exciting for us.
“We start again, and everyone starts on zero points.
“It’s not many times you get a second crack at it and we’ve got to make sure this time we make the most of it.”
Sources: AFP & Stuff.co.nz