Blues look ahead to Trans-Tasman competition

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"The team are disappointed not to be in the final, that was one of our targets at the start of the season was to make the final.

 

"But we've got an opportunity for a new competition that is really exciting for us. We start again and we can move forward and everyone starts from zero points. Not many times you get a second crack at it and we've got to make sure that this time we make the most of it," he said.

 

MacDonald had kept tabs on the Australian competition and is interested to see how the Australian referees will control the games.

 

"I think there is quite a difference in the way the referees are interpreting the breakdown, in particular, on both sides of the ditch, so we're going to have to adjust to the Australian referees at the breakdown.

 

"They're a little different in that they are letting more go whereas here they are a lot stricter here in New Zealand," he said.

 

"The Brumbies forward pack poses a real threat and the Reds dynamic backs are a real challenge as well, so it's going to be good fun," he said.

 

A powerful finish against the Chiefs in their six tries to one was a boost for the Blues.

 

 

"We know what our game needs to look like, and at times we drifted away from that, but I thought tonight we started getting back on track again," he said.

 

"In the last 20 minutes we started getting our game going, we started to control where we were playing on the field, our error rate dropped a little bit and we started applying pressure at the scrum and a strong maul, and we were able to pounce when opportunities arose.

 

"There was a good formula at the end of the game," he said. Nailing the game's fundamentals, especially in the last quarter had given them the basis for their impressive finish.

 

Flanker Tom Robinson had demonstrated his leadership in taking time out after scoreboard setbacks to rev up the side.

 

"I think Tom has been a fantastic leader in Paddy's absence. We've been guilty of going a little bit quiet when we get tired or things aren't going our way and he just wasn't having any of that.

 

"He was very demanding of his pack. I've seen some of the running metres from our forwards and it was as high as it's been all year. That's because Tom was cracking the whip and they were responding to him, which is really pleasing," he said.