Tana Umaga hails Blues’ self belief
Cape Town - Blues head coach Tana Umaga says an internal faith helped
the Auckland-based outfit to beat the Waratahs in Sydney on Saturday.
The Blues were under pressure throughout the second half
against the Waratahs, but held out to take their third win of the season.
Umaga said the key to the win was a bit of grit and an
ability to ignore the growing criticism of the side, which has failed to beat
any of its fellow Kiwi sides since February 2016.
“We don’t take much notice of what people say, it’s just how
we feel about ourselves and we just keep working away as much as we can and we
leave it to other people that think they know,” he told the Australian Rugby
Union’s official website.
Skipper Augustine Pulu echoed his coach’s view, after the
“We always talk about the inner belief in our circle and
that’s all that matters,” he said.
“Everyone’s got their own thoughts, their own thinking of
all that kind of stuff and we just have to stay focused, stay tight in our
circle because we’re the only ones that can change it.”
Umaga said the return of trio Jerome Kaino, Patrick
Tuipulotu and Pulu to the starting side was a major boost for the side, in part
for the extra work they put in getting to that point.
“When a team’s battling, especially, you’ve got to rely on
your experienced players and it’s hard when all your experienced players have
been having a bit of a rest,” he explained.
“It’s been tough on them because they’re frustrated and the
positive thing for us is they’ve worked their butts off to get back early for a
lot of them, earlier than they should and you could just see how much it meant,
especially in those tough moments.”
The Blues’ win continued a 38-match run of trans-Tasman Super
Rugby wins for New Zealand teams but Umaga wasn’t keen to philosophise on the
state of Australian rugby.
“One, I don’t read anything and two, I’m just focused on the
Blues,” he added.
“We’ve got a few issues of our own that we need to get right
but I don’t really have an opinion on that.”