Blues application rewarded in Pretoria

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That was coach Leon MacDonald's summation of a win that required a determined approach across 80 minutes from the side.


They hadn't been able to round out wins after being in positions to push on recently and the Chiefs had most recently done that to them.


"To be able to turn around and do that is obviously pleasing. I thought we showed a lot of fight right through till the end. The conditions were tricky and tough at altitude but we hung in there and we managed to get the play that counted which was the last one so we're really pleased," he told South African media.


"We competed in a lot more areas, our set piece was a lot better and given the wet conditions I thought we tried our best to play in the best areas of the field which we did for long periods of time."


"They showed a lot of grit and ticker to get there in the end. With the weather it was always going to be a game of those little moments and we managed to get that last one which counted so I was just really pleased for them. We've put in a lot of hard work in the last few weeks so it's nice to get a result," he said.



The game had been different to what they usually played but MacDonald was pleased with the way the side adapted for what was an 'arm-wrestle' battle. It was the sort of game the Blues had lost in the past and getting on the right side of the ledger for a change was pleasing.


"We executed really well. We moved the ball to space, we kicked to space and I thought our lineout led by Patrick Tuipulotu was outstanding. They were put under pressure after last week and they responded well against a big pack," he said.


In talking with NZ media MacDonald felt having his three first five-eighths, Black, Harry Plummer at second five-eighths and Stephen Perofeta at fullback, on the field together had worked well.


"I thought Stevie was outstanding. He was very brave under the high ball and he's dangerous on attack so he's got a skill set that suits that position and obviously he's a good 10 as well but Harry was busy at 12 and a good foil for Otere. I thought it worked well, they all played well and then TJ [Faiane] coming off the bench added a bit of experience late in the game as well which we were hoping for from him so we're really pleased with how that all worked," he said.


Black had brought some composure at first five-eighths and his character was demonstrated in the way he stepped up and landed the winning goal.


"He's a good organiser and he was really accurate with his line kicks and general kicking. It was a good hit out for him, his first of the season and he did a great job for us."


MacDonald said there was still plenty for the side to work on but the win would give their confidence a boost heading into what was going to be a tough encounter with the Stormers in Cape Town next weekend.


Captain Tuipulotu said the game against the Stormers would be a good challenge for the side.


"They've had a couple of big wins and they've been setting the standard and for us it just sets the stakes higher," he said.


The side had enjoyed two good weeks of preparation and with another week they would have to step that up to be ready for the Stormers, he said.




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