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Thread: Blues must stand up in Super Rugby: Kirwan

  1. #1
    Immortal Contributor The InnFORCEr's Avatar
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    Feb 2006
    West Leederville

    Blues must stand up in Super Rugby: Kirwan

    April 23, 2014, 7:04 am

    Coach Sir John Kirwan wants more physicality from the Blues for their round-11 Super Rugby match against the NSW Waratahs on Friday in Auckland.

    In the only change to the forward pack, Peter Saili makes his first start since round six at No.8 in place of Steven Luatua.

    "The Waratahs are a big, strong pack so we've gone with Pete - he's really physical, so Steven will come off the bench later in the game and bring his spark," Kirwan said.

    In other changes, Simon Hickey will start at five-eighth with Chris Noakes ruled out following a concussion in the Blues' 39-20 loss last week to the Hurricanes.

    Ma'a Nonu has bounced back from a tight calf to start at inside centre ahead of Jackson Willison, with Kirwan looking forward to welcoming back his backline enforcer.

    "He's brought a lot of edge to us and I thought he played really well against the Highlanders," Kirwan said.

    "I'm really looking forward to him getting us over the advantage line and doing what Ma'a does best."

    Frank Halai has also been reinstated to the starting line-up ahead of George Moala, after producing a strong cameo off the bench last week.

    Piri Weepu has been cleared to play after a suffering a stroke last month and undergoing minor heart surgery.

    He has been named on the bench alongside Ihaia West, who is poised to make his Super Rugby debut after joining the franchise as a replacement player for the injured Baden Kerr two weeks ago.

    Blues: Charles Piutau, Frank Halai, Francis Saili, Ma'a Nonu, Lolagi Visinia, Simon Hickey, Bryn Hall, Peter Saili, Luke Braid, Jerome Kaino, Tom Donnelly, Patrick Tuipulotu, Charlie Faumuina, Keven Mealamu, Tony Woodcock. Res: James Parsons, Sam Prattley, Angus Ta'avao, Hayden Triggs, Piri Weepu, Steven Luatua, Ihaia West, Pita Ahki.

    Will be very interesting to see how Ihia goes at this level. He is Alby's partner in crime (No10) at Hawkes Bay in ITM Cup and had a great last season. I was amazed he was not picked up before the start of the season and only called up for injury cover. Great vision and an awesome boot!

    If we manage to keep Alby and Sias goes, we could do a lot worse than picking up Ihia on a decent term IMHO.

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  2. #2
    Veteran chibi's Avatar
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    Jan 2007
    Chinatown, Roe St
    I suppose it's the 90's coming out in me, but I hardly weep for the Auckland Blues!

    What would be interesting for the competition though, was if the old (Transvaal) Lions became a powerhouse again!

    Now there's a slumbering giant!

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    Japan and the Pacific Islands for Aussie Super 9's!

    Let's have one of these in WA! Click this link: Saitama Super Arena - New Perth Stadium?

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