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Blues seek to regain fans' faith

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Sportal.co.nz     26 Feb 2013     Getty Images

The Crusaders who had the bye in the first round would be freshened up and ready for the game, especially after the Blues upset the Hurricanes in last weekend's opening Investec Super Rugby game.

Kirwan refused to be carried away with the success but at the same time he said Eden Park needed to be a fortress for home games and full for Friday's game.

He didn't think it was the Kirwan factor that had appeal to fans rather it was the courage and commitment of the team itself that was making people feel they like what they see.

"We need to show our fans that we are prepared to die for the cause," he said.

"We've achieved nothing – excited, happy, let's just make sure we get it right for this week.

"We've got a call of 'better never stops' so we've asked all of them to see where they can improve," he said.

The Hurricanes had created some good try scoring opportunities and the Blues had thrown a few away so they needed to get themselves up mentally for the Crusaders.

"We're the underdogs at home and people are talking about them being champions so this is going to be a big week for us and a big game," he said.

Kirwan said he was seeking clarification of the ruling against Frank Halai which saw him sin-binned and a penalty try awarded when he tipped the ball over the dead-ball line. Kirwan said so far as he was concerned the try would not in all certainty have been scored but the referees had a different view to him.

So far as set piece analysis from the Hurricanes game was concerned he was happy with the effort but the Crusaders would be looking to attack the Blues lineout. There was still work to be done with the scrum which would be an ongoing aspect of the team's preparation for games.

The ball retention and attack play of the team had been solid and something the side needed to take advantage of.

Kirwan said there were encouraging signs from lock Anthony Boric who would play again for the Blues development side in their game against the Crusaders development team on Saturday.

That would follow an earlier game and he was now one step closer to resuming full duties with the side.