Blues must be 'prepared to die for the cause'
February 26, 2013
Sir John Kirwan wants his players to inspire the fans to return to Eden Park © Getty Images
Regaining the faith of Blues fans is a significant driving force for coach Sir John Kirwan as the side prepares to face the Crusaders at Eden Park on Friday.
Kirwan is not getting carried away with the opening success against the Hurricanes, but he says that Eden Park must be a fortress for home games and had to be full for Friday's game as the Crusaders will be fresh and ready after the bye in round two.
He said the courage and commitment of the team itself, rather than any "Kirwan factor", had to appeal to fans and make people feel they liked what they saw.
"We need to show our fans that we are prepared to die for the cause," Kirwan said.
"We've achieved nothing; excited, happy, let's just make sure we get it right for this week. We've got a call of 'better never stops' so we've asked all of them to see where they can improve. We're the underdogs at home and people are talking about them being champions so this is going to be a big week for us and a big game."
Kirwan said he was seeking clarification of the ruling against Frank Halai which saw the winger sin-binned and a penalty try awarded after he tipped the ball over the dead-ball line. Kirwan said he was concerned the try would not in all certainty have been scored, but the officials held a different view.
The coach said that he was happy with the set pieces against the Hurricanes, but the Crusaders would be looking to attack the Blues lineout. And there was still work to be done with the scrum, which would be an ongoing aspect of the team's preparation for games. Kirwan said that he was also happy with the ball retention and attack against the Hurricanes, but the team had to take better advantage of their play.
Kirwan, meanwhile, said that star second-rower Anthony Boric would play again for the Blues development side in their game against the Crusaders development team on Saturday.
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