Pulu has confidence in young five-eighths

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Lynn McConnell     06 Jun 2017     Getty Images

Pulu said Perofeta was a composed player who had impressed him from the time he first played against him in Mitre 10 Cup rugby because of the maturity with which he played, something not a lot of first five-eighths his age shared.
"The way he played was like a person who had been in the game for 10 years. His knowledge of the game and game understanding…for a young guy like that to have that already in his game you can think just what his future is going to be like. The Blues franchise is really lucky, blessed, to have Stevey," he said.

Injury issues during the year had not upset Perofeta and he had come back strong and showed the person that he was. He was relentless with his rehabilitation and was really keen to get out there.

"I'm looking forward to seeing what he can put out there," he said.

In his Blues debut in Apia on Friday, Perofeta had shown presence of mind to be on hand in support to score what proved the match-winning try against the Reds then added the conversion.

"The amount of pressure he was going through, you could go into your shell, but he kept a cool head and showed composure in his game and he dotted over [the line] for us and it was a really important time to get that win," Pulu said.

It would be a big challenge for the Blues pack to make an impact against the Lions but if able to get the required 'go-forward' with lightning quick ball it could suit their hopes.

The side were aware the Lions would come out fired up but they were determined to go out and enjoy the occasion.

Pulu said he had enjoyed his first season with the Blues. They were disappointed they hadn't made the Super Rugby play-offs but he felt the team had gelled as a group and he felt several teams were aware of just how hard it was to take points out of the Blues.

"We've got a young squad but I feel it is going to be really good in the future," he said.

For prop Charlie Faumuina, the game will represent the end of a phase of his career, before he heads overseas at the end of the international season. It will be his last appearance for the Blues on Eden Park.

"It's an awesome occasion in a Blues jersey. To run out in front of a 40,000 crowd at Eden Park is pretty special and I'm counting down the last few times I get to wear this jersey," he said.

As all props do he had looked at how the NZ Provincial Barbarians scrum performed in the tour's opening game and he thought the home team had stood up well and had put some pressure on the Lions.

However, they Lions had only been in the country three days so they couldn't read too much into their performance on that occasion and their team would be a different beast with different personnel on Wednesday, he said.