Tana Umaga still up for Blues challenge
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
"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
"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.