Blues prepare for Hurricanes

Blues prepare for Hurricanes

This Saturday will be our second of three pre-season matches, this one against 2015 Super Rugby runners-up the Hurricanes in Eketahuna.

After a stunning opening 59-7 victory over the Rebels last Thursday, the Blues will be looking to improve their game against the Hurricanes.

Coach Tana Umaga said the team as a whole emerged fit and healthy after Thursday’s match, with Blake Gibson and Charlie Faumuina set to return to playing and training. Piers Francis came off the field during the Rebels hit out with right leg pain, but is expected to return to training by the end of the week.

While the team’s scoreline against the Rebels and general fitness was a good boost ahead of the season, Jerome Kaino is hoping to see a marked improvement in the team’s discipline this Saturday.

“We want guys to push the envelope and live on the edge, but when you’re getting compounding penalties you want to pull that back and stay clean for a while,” said Jerome.

“It’ll be a mental switch and a certain mindset that you take into the game,” he said. “The Hurricanes are full strength, so it’ll be a couple of notches up in terms of standard and intensity, which is exactly what we’re wanting going in to the season.”

The squad will be flying down to Palmerston North on Saturday then travelling up to Eketahuna for the match with kick-off at 3pm. You can follow the game on the Blues’ Twitter feed @BluesRugbyTeam, plus we’ll post some highlights after the game.

The playing team is:

1. Namatahi Waa (FR)

2. Quentin MacDonald (FR)

3. Ofa Tu’ungafasi (FR)

4. Scott Scrafton

5. Hoani Matenga

6. Jerome Kaino (C)

7. Jack Ram

8. Steven Luatua

9. Billy Guyton

10. Matt McGahan

11. Matt Vaega

12. George Moala

13. Rene Ranger

14. Melani Nanai

15. Matt Duffie

Reserves:       

16. James Parsons (FR)

17. Nic Mayhew (FR)

18. Sione Mafileo (FR)

19. Patrick Tuipulotu

20. Matt Matich

21. Bryn Hall

22. Ihaia West

23. Male Sa’u

               

3. Charlie Faumuina (FR)

5. Josh Bekhuis

7. Blake Gibson

8. Joe Edwards

11. Tevita Li

13. Michael Little

14. Lolagi Visinia