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Blues keen to lift effort against Lions

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Sportal.co.nz     12 Mar 2014     Getty Images

They know what to expect at Ellis Park, yet another South African team capable of testing them thoroughly up front while also having firepower to unleash out the back.

Faumuina will be joined in sharing the loss of Mealamu by fellow All Blacks prop Tony Woodcock, and they will have hard-working hooker James Parsons to set the trend for their side as they chase the four points they want to return to Auckland with next week.

Addressing the slow starts that have cost them so dearly will be one issue for the side.

"We get behind and then there is too much ground to make up," Faumuina said from Johannesburg.

He felt they started better against the Bulls but had then eased off which allowed the Bulls to score the first try of the game.

"The Lions will be the same as other South African sides. They will be a little bit direct, will maul well and have a pretty good scrum.

"They like to run it a bit, and especially if they get good ball off the top of the lineout.

"We've got to make sure we hold onto the ball. We've been making too many errors and we need to make sure we get out of our own half and play the game in theirs," he said.

That also reduced the potential cost of conceding penalties within goal-kicking range.

The Blues knew what they were capable of doing. They had shown that against the Crusaders and they needed to build the resolve they showed in Auckland again.

Faumuina was confident the altitude would not be an issue for the side now they were more acclimatised.

The good thing, he said, about the weekend's game was there was 'a little bit of excitement' among the side.

"We want to come home with some points out of South Africa, not give too many penalties away, so that we can come home next week and get into it [the season'," he said.