Tana Umaga still up for Blues challenge

    2018-04-30 09:11

    Cape Town - Beleaguered Blues coach Tana Umaga said he has faith in his side, and the club overall, in what it was trying to do but at the moment all he can do is look at things from week to week. 

    The Auckland-based side suffered their fourth Super Rugby home loss of the season when going down to the Jaguares 20-13 in miserable weather conditions at Eden Park on Saturday. 

    In spite of a hint of support from the Blues chief executive Michael Redman during the week, Umaga said they all knew the club was under-performing and changing that was a challenge, but something that you lived for. 

    "I know the players want that challenge but we're just not getting it right on the field at the moment but as I say, we're not far away," he told the All Blacks' official website. 

    "There were a few blocks there (against the Jaguares on Saturday) where we made errors back-to-back and let them back into the game. So we just need to be better than that." 

    Neither side had used the wind effectively and played their best rugby into the wind. 

    "We felt we'd done enough going into the wind (in the first half), we played good into-the-wind rugby. We had another plan when we turned round with it, we just didn't execute," added Umaga. 

    He said the players should have been clear on what was required in the second half because at half-time they had talked about 'parking' the first 40 minutes. 

    "It was great, it was good, we did some good stuff and we know it changes with the wind and we've got to get to the bottom of that," he explained. 

    There were key players who needed to make the tactical decisions but he didn't believe they did. 

    Umaga was reluctant to identify the recalcitrant but he said the players knew who they were and the positive from the failed application was that they learned. 

    The effort of the inexperienced pack in attempting to cope with the bigger and more savvy Jaguares pack had been good. Initially they had stood up yet the Blues couldn't stop conceding scrums to them, especially close to their own line, and from lineout opportunities. 

    That was down to the side's discipline, or lack of, and making errors. 

    "If you give an international pack that amount of ball close to our line these things will happen to us," said Umaga. 

    Credit was due to the Jaguares who claimed their first win in New Zealand and they knew they would have targeted the game because of the Blues poor performances, just as everyone was targeting them because of the form they were in. 

    "They did well, they played to their strengths and they came away with the result," said Umaga. 

    It was a case of going back to the drawing board and emphasising again how crucial it was to stick to the game-plan. They had shown in the first half what they could do when adhering to the plan and in the second half they didn't and got into trouble as a result.

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