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Reds axis focus in Brisbane

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Sportal.co.nz     28 Jun 2011     Getty Images

Blues first five-eighths Stephen Brett said the pair were such great players, with international experience, who, if they made the advantage line, were hard to stop.

"Quade has got such jinky feet and obviously with Will just throwing the ball, wide passes and stuff, if we can stop them and eliminate them hopefully it is going to be an even game," Brett said.

Defensive line speed would be crucial if the pair were to feel any pressure.

Brett said he and Cooper were friends on Twitter and there had been a bit of banter between the pair. "He's a great player and I enjoy playing against him. I've played against him a few times now and whatever first five steps up for the game can get a good win for his team," he said.

"I still see that I can push myself a bit further and I definitely want to get a good game in this weekend. Obviously finals rugby is where the three wise men look and I just want to put a performance on the field," he said.

Another player who would need to be watched was wing Digby Ioane. He was a powerful man, and explosive on the burst while also having good feet.

Brett was mindful of the need to start well recalling the 24 points the Blues gifted the Reds in their last encounter.

"Obviously we missed tackles but we also weren't prepared for the game they brought to us but hopefully we can eliminate that this weekend and go out and give it a go," he said.

"You can't turn up half-hearted, you have to be ready to play and obviously in finals rugby it is different competition and a lot more pressure on the team. You noticed that with us and the Crusaders getting a pretty bad start in the first half [of the play-offs openers] and it's a different game. We just want to get out and put a performance on the park for Auckland as well," he said.

Brett said any opportunity to play finals football was exciting. "I'm looking forward to it. I haven't been in a Super finals match for a wee while so it's going to be a good challenge," he said.

Brett said the Blues had a team capable of reaching the finals in the past but hadn't been able to put the performances together.

He was happy with his defensive game after getting in some big hits during the Waratahs play-offs game. The team had to pick up its defensive effort overall, especially after missing 14 tackles during the game.