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    Blues coach: Don't try copy Kiwi teams

    2017-05-17 19:35

    Cape Town - Blues assistant coach Steve Jackson says South African sides should not try and emulate the New Zealand style of play.

    READ: Nizaam Carr: We're closing the gap on Kiwi sides

    Jackson was speaking in Cape Town on Wednesday ahead of his side's Super Rugby clash against the Stormers at Newlands on Friday. 

    The Stormers, under the guidance of coach Robbie Fleck, have been pioneering a new philosophy at the franchise in an attempt to close the gap on New Zealand opposition. 

    With an emphasis on conditioning, offloads, quick passes and ball-in-hand rugby, as well as the fact that they have a dedicated 'Kiwi Day' once a week at training, the Stormers appear to be heavily focused on the New Zealand game. 

    The Bulls, too, are in the middle of a similar philosophical shift under coach Nollis Marais. 

    Jackson, though, believes that South African sides should stick to their traditional strengths. 

    "They've got big men," he said of the South African teams.

    "I think you've just got to work to your strengths and that's what we do back home. Our strength is that we've got a lot of guys with flair and who come through our system that can deliver that for us and we play to that.

    "I know there's a lot of talk of teams trying to emulate what New Zealand teams do, but I think we're a different kettle of fish to most places.

    "Most teams get too excited about playing the New Zealand way. I just think South African teams, with born and bred big men, they should just keep playing up front."

    Jackson added that he had seen a difference in the Stormers under the guidance of former Auckland coach Paul Feeney, but he doesn't think they have completely abandoned their 'old' game.

    "Your sides like to be physical up front and we expect that week in and week out. When we finish those games against those teams, our forward pack is pretty sore," he said.

    "I think their (Stormers) skill set has changed a wee bit. They've obviously chanced their arm with the offload and passing the ball, but they still haven't gone away from their maul and I think that will be something they'll be looking for against us.

    "There are some glimpses there ... you've got some exciting backs with a lot of speed and flair, but I think it's about a forward pack creating opportunities for backlines."

    Kick-off on Friday is at 19:00.

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