Pulu keen for sustained Blues revival

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Wednesday, February 21, 2018    Lynn McConnell    Getty Images

Pulu headed south confident there had been an acceptance of the need to buy into the plan the team will operate to this year and that was all that could be asked of them.


That plan was to be the best team in New Zealand and while it would be a tough road the coaches had worked to put their plan together through the off-season. There had been some adjustments to last season's plan and they felt they were heading in the right direction.

"We haven't actually changed much but we have nailed down what has been letting us down and they were critical moments. We've put our finger on that and on Friday we get to show how much we have prepped for that," he said.

Nailing down game sense within the side, when to run and when to kick would also be crucial to success.

Pulu said his first five-eighths partner Bryn Gatland had a taste of Blues action last year and he had backed that with some outstanding play in the Mitre 10 Cup.

"And that's what we're going to ask of him this year, to play his game. He's a strong defender and he's got a strong kicking game and with the knowledge he's got he institutes the way we play," he said.
Having accepted the captaincy role this year Pulu said he had prepared as he always did and while there were some extra duties, such as media commitments, he also had a strong leadership group around him to ensure he didn't have to do everything himself.

Pulu said he had to be on top of his game if the side were to look up to him, and he had to lead not by word, but by actions.

New law requirements will affect the scrum, especially at the hit, and Pulu was confident the Blues would be in good shape to be competitive at the scrum with the plan that scrum coach Ben Afeaki had put in place. There would also be a requirement for good connections between him as halfback and his hooker now that there had to be a strike for the ball at scrums.

Big seasons with high expectations have been a demand on the Blues for several years, and this year was no different for the team itself, and their fans.

"I feel every person is putting their hand up this year so for myself I have to keep on my toes because I've got two good halfbacks behind me," he said.