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Injuries continue for victorious <hash>Blues</hash>

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Sunday, July 8, 2012    Sportal.co.nz    Getty Images

The ability of Luatua to play lock, at a time when the Blues are down on talent in that area, could have a big say in how well they are able to play against the Waratahs next week.

The Blues might have got a rare win in their season, they might have got a bonus point, but Lam was most pleased with the fact they didn't concede any tries to the Force.

Lam paid tribute to the work done by Jeff Wilson since joining the coaching group fulltime since the break in the competition which had been borne out in the defensive effort.

The side hadn't controlled possession in the first half and were also hit hard with penalties. But the aim was to step it up in the second half and once they played at a higher tempo they were able to play better rugby.

It had been a plan going into the game to use the maul but it was late in the first half before they had been able to enact it.

"Part of that was because we spent a lot of time in our own half, in that first half. Certainly it was an area we wanted to control up front. We talked about going through the middle at half-time and really committing them in and then unleash the backs. I think Charles' [Piutau] try was evidence of that," he said.

The job for the side now, Lam said, was to work up for their last game of the season with the intention of spoiling the Brumbies' party in Canberra next week.

Captain Keven Mealamu said the scrum problems were hard to identify but he did feel the Force were hard to pack against. There had been a lot of fluid movement, and sideways movement.

"It was quite hard to scrum against their side and we couldn't just lock them down. It was frustrating because we really wanted to get stuck into their scrum," he said.

There was also the fact that not only did the side have to cope with the fact they hadn't played for five weeks but there were several players in the side not familiar with playing together and that had taken time for them to come together.

"You just have to hang in there and be patient and I think around the 60th minute things started to click for us," he said.

Lam said the Blues hadn't missed out in bringing through young players along with many other sides in the competition this year. Francis Saili, Piutau and Luatua were all players to make an impact, he said.

"It has been the year of the young guys. A lot of fresh talent has been unearthed right across the competition and particularly in New Zealand. When you talk to people or friends overseas they just can't believe the amount of talent that comes out of here," he said.

"There's a lot more talent still to come through and it is just a case of getting that right."