Blues set piece under the microscope
Attention to the set piece would be required to meet the anticipated challenge of the Crusaders in the Blues' next Investec Super Rugby outing.
"When you watch them play, if you don't get your set piece right then you're going to be under the pump so I thought there was some good stuff tonight and we wobbled a couple of times and I think that was just a general feel of the game. Our defence was pretty soft...in the second half and we need to work hard this week," he said.
Kirwan said the challenge of meeting the Crusaders and Brumbies over the next two weeks was something that should be exciting for any professional rugby player.
"We're going down there, they're hitting form and we need to play our best and then we've got the Brumbies at home. It is a really important three weeks for us," he said.
Kirwan said the ability to reproduce first half form in the second half was still eluding the side. They had played very well and scored some good tries to lead 29-10 at half-time but they had let the pedal off in the second half.
"We need to learn to be ruthless. We'll take the five points, that's a real positive for us. It could have been a banana skin, it wasn't but we need to keep trying to work towards an 80-minute performance," he said.
Captain Ali Williams said the way the side eased off in the second half was an individual thing which diminished the team effort. Assessing his own performance he felt he had let the side down but the side had got the maximum points and that was crucial.
He felt the game was one of the worst he had played in a long time.
"I found it very hard to lead when I played like that so I take a lot of the second half on my shoulders," he said.
However, he said he would dig a hole on Sunday and get out of it and he would show the side how he bounced back after a poor performance for the exciting challenge ahead.
"I don't think we would have won eight weeks ago," Kirwan said.
Necessary changes had been made for the sake of the squad and the players chosen had improved and the team had picked up five points.
"It was not pretty at times but fantastic at others, we just need to learn to be ruthless," he said.
The standing down of replacement wing Lolagi Visinia for breaching the team protocol was a lesson about what was involved in being a professional, Kirwan said.
Williams added that the matter was a case of where the team was at. They were at a certain point and they weren't going to drop their standard when protocols were breached.
Some teams might let players get away with being late, which was Visinia's offence, but the Blues were not going to accept it.
"We need to get the best out of everyone. He'll learn from that, he'll never be late again," Williams said.