Umaga: ‘Blues must adapt to referee’

Date published: April 3 2016

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Blues head coach Tana Umaga wants his side to sharpen up when it comes to their discipline following Saturday's win over the Jaguares.

Eventual 24-16 winners in Albany, the Blues picked up their second win of the year and a first since their Round One shock against the Highlanders. 

Umaga however was left concerned by how the Blues continued to conede penalties in the same areas and with their failure to adapt to the referee Mike Fraser.

Looking ahead, that's something the Blues have to improve on.

"We've shown we have a lot of heart in our group and they know how to hang in there in games but it would be good if we didn't have to go through the rigmarole of giving away penalties and getting stuck in our corner for so long," Umaga told the NZ Herald.

"We've got to adapt to the referee. He did say he'll be strong at the start and he was.

"That's a learning curve for our guys, understanding that sometimes it looks like we can hang in there and try to steal the ball back, just let it go and trust our systems.

"We got our first touch of the ball I think in the 18th minute when we got a penalty. It's a long time defending and it takes a lot of fuel out of them."

One sign of progress for the Blues however was their defence, which limited the expansive Jaguares to just one try through Gonzalo Bertramou.

"In past games we probably would have given away a lot more points than we did," Umaga added.

"Our defence is something we have been working hard on. We knew the Argentine side would come to play. They chanced their arm and don't hold back and I thought we handled that well."

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