Blues spirits high as they face Stormers' challenge

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Lynn McConnell     13 May 2017     Getty Images

After their 50-32 win over the Cheetahs in Auckland on Friday, it was onto a South Africa-bound flight with an airport reporting time of 5.30am on Saturday for the side.

Parsons said the front five knew they would never get the raps that the x-factor players enjoyed, but there were pleased with the contribution they were able to provide.

Parsons said the bonus point win kept the side alive in the hunt for a play-offs place and it was still a week-by-week process. It was a cliché but they could only control their own fate and next week's game in Cape Town against the Stormers was a massive game.

Having conceded four tries to the Cheetahs' lineout drive on Friday, Parsons explained they had made some adjustments to their defence of the drive that didn't work so they were likely to revert to their tried and true system.

After an early defensive lineout, which the Blues didn't contest, there had been a disagreement with the referee's ruling on the play which saw Parsons penalised so they went away from employing that tactic again, he said.

While they had been one of the most successful of the Super Rugby teams in minimising penalties, they were aware they couldn't afford to give them away against the Stormers next week.

"We've also got to sort it out, we've got to have the ability to stop mauls like that. It wasn't so much the maul, it was the shift maul and we aided them with the way we were defending. We were hitting the initial shift really hard and they would just shear off and we just have to make sure we've got bodies around the front," he said.

Parsons said the fact they were travelling again, after two weeks in Australia before the Cheetahs game, was good for the side because they were a tight unit who thrived and enjoyed their time together which was reflected on the field.

"We had a great few weeks in Aussie and got the results and have come back here at home. We weren't as clinical as we would like defensively but attack-wise, we showed we could score points. We're looking forward to the challenge of the Stormers," he said.

Loose forward Steven Luatua said the team were happy to take a bonus point and to score some good team tries but they would be working on their maul defence.

"They did a switch-drive really well. We were able to hit the initial maul but when they switched the ball that's what we need to work on. We'll be prepared for that next time," he said.

Luatua said part of the reason for their run of wins had been a better understanding of the game plan and scoring tries within it.

"It was definitely pleasing tonight to be able to go out there and implement stuff that we drew up," he said.

Luatua paid tribute to the work of lock Scott Scrafton, who was on the score sheet again, for the complementary work he did in the right to set up good ball for the ball carriers.