Tall order for Blues in Canberra

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Thursday, April 27, 2017    Lynn McConnell    Getty Images

Assistant coach Steve Jackson said the side were still taking the attitude that they needed five points out of every game they play. There was still a mathematical chance for the side to make the play-offs and they could only control their own situation, he said.

They would keep attacking sides as they had shown themselves capable of doing in the last few weeks and they wanted to win consistently.

They realise the Brumbies will be tough in Canberra, even after their mauling by the Hurricanes in Wellington last week.

"For 40 minutes of that game they looked really good and with home ground and home crowd, they're going to be tough. There'll be a bit of backlash over how they've performed in the last couple of weeks to be fair, but that second half [in Wellington] they'll be hurting from that.

"They'll look at us as a wounded dog and they'll look to rectify their season. We're looking forward to the clash. It's not going to be easy in Canberra but I think both teams will go at it," he said.

Having to attempt to do it without Jerome Kaino who was due for knee surgery on Friday made the goal tougher.

"Experience means a lot but when you are talking about Jerome, who brings that attitude, that physicality in what we do, is going to be a loss but again it gives Akira [Ioane] a chance to get out there and show what he's got for 80 minutes of rugby.

"One it's a loss but two, we're quite excited about the prospect of seeing him go."

Ioane had shown how explosive he could be when entering the field from the bench and the challenge for him was achieving that over 80 minutes of rugby.

"He's well aware of that so we're quite excited about the opportunity of him working with Steven Luatua and Blake Gibson.

"Now he's got the opportunity to stay out there for a lot longer period of time and influence the game as he can do," he said.

The side would still have to do without Rene Ranger, Ihaia West and Patrick Tuipulotu.

Ranger had what Jackson said was 'a funny ankle sprain', West was probably another two weeks away while Tuipulotu's return was unknown at the moment because he has a disc issue in his back - it could be gone tomorrow or it could linger.

"It's just a time thing for him and when it settles down he will become available for us again. The best thing he can do is what he needs to do with our medical group and physio staff. It'll just run its course and when he's ready to go he'll be ready," he said.