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Blues switch from Brumbies domination to Brisbane showdown

Blues switch from Brumbies domination to Brisbane showdown

All BlacksApril 22, 2024

It was job done for the Blues when they achieved second place on their own in the 46-7 DHL Super Rugby Pacific win over the Brumbies at Eden Park, and then focused on the Reds in Brisbane at the weekend.

Coach Vern Cotter said it was a good performance and well constructed, but it was time to park the win and prepare for the Reds and the Rebels a week later, both in Australia.

"It's a little bit different and about being able to adapt to each situation, each time and prepare well."

It was a case of seeing some good things in the win and adding more good things in future games.

Cotter said, "We surprised them, and we got through a yellow card without too much damage to us around that.

"We had to deal with that, and the guys did well. They kept composed and under pressure, but they managed to get out. And when Taufa [Funaki-halfback] came back, we piled pressure on them by being reasonably direct and purposeful about our carries and what we were doing.

"The team was together, connected, and that was a positive thing. There was no stress around what we were doing."

The defensive effort was impressive, especially when the Brumbies got into their 22m area.

"We knew they were a capable team with the ball in hand, and they were well-balanced and varied. They're a smart team, but the boys dug in and managed to keep them out until later in the game.

Honouring the heroes and igniting passion, Anzac Weekend Round arrives in round 10.#SuperRugbyPacific pic.twitter.com/RUSTEhB8S1

— Super Rugby Pacific (@SuperRugby) April 21, 2024

"They were up for it, and when you're up, and together, you generally get a good result."

Captain and lock Patrick Tuipulotu has been on the receiving end against the Brumbies, especially their lineout drive, for several seasons and enjoyed giving them something back.

"It was awesome. It was part of the game plan [to take them on with driving mauls], which made us nervous throughout our preparation. When that happens, we get on the edge of our seats, prepare genuinely, and bone deep.

"So, to get it rolling, and to get over the line, especially, that speaks to the work we've done through the season because we've gotten so close so often.

"Against a good Brumbies team who pride themselves on their set piece, we've got to be happy with that."

How they managed to throw back the Brumbies forward challenge had surprised him.

"We went direct and did what we like to do, and just carry and clean. There were times where they challenged our breakdown and made a mess of it for us, so that's a work-on for us next week."

Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham said his side was not clinical enough, especially when turned back by the Blues in their 22m area.

"We had five entries into their 22m, and they had three. They scored on all three, and we didn't put any points on.

"The Blues carried exceptionally well, hit the gain line and got over it quite easily. Their maul was dominant in the second half.

"There weren't a lot of things that went right for us. There's plenty of things we can talk about, but realisitically, we lost the physical battle at 7-0 down."

The Blues take on the Reds at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday 27 April at 9.35pm NZT in the final game of the ANZAC Round. 

Some HUGE results this weekend but just two teams swapping positions in the end ↕️

Sum up your team's position in the table with a GIF in the comments 👇#SuperRugbyPacific pic.twitter.com/Udz2fAtC4C

— Super Rugby Pacific (@SuperRugby) April 21, 2024

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