Blues' form pleases Hunter
February 6, 2000
New Auckland Blues' coach Gordon Hunter was full of praise for his squad after this weekend's first trial match.
Following this weekend's first Auckland Blues' trial match in Whangarei, new coach Gordon Hunter has confessed himself a happy man.
Not only did his squad come through unscathed ( earlier in the week Robin Brooke and David Morgan had withdrawn due to injury ) but the players looked sharp as the Vikings defeated the Barbarians 41-34.Hunter was especially pleased with the form off ex All Black back Walter Little. Having previously played Super 12 rugby for the Waikato Chiefs , Little will be making his debut for the Blues in 2000.Hunter said, ' Walter was outstanding, his maturity showed out and also his skills in organising the backs and having a go himself from time to time.'
In 2000 the Blues will be seeking to re-find the form which won them the first two Super 12 titles in 1996 and 1997 under the guidance of Graham Henry.Since losing the 1998 final to the Canterbury Crusaders and the departure of Henry to coach Wales, the Blues have struggled to find consistency and cohesion. But there is no doubting that within their ranks they have the class and firepower to make another serious Super 12 challenge in 2000.
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Craig Dowd warns England, Ireland and Wales they should play to their strengths rather than those of the All Blacks and the Wallabies
Tom Hamilton runs the rule over just where the six countries stand ahead of the global gathering in September