Umaga to bring clarity to Blues

Date published: June 27 2015

Top of new Blues coach Tana Umaga's list of priorities will be to instill better communication with players over their core roles.

The long drought of results in Auckland reached breaking point this year as Sir John Kirwan's departure brought a fitting end to a season that saw the former Super Rugby champions finish a miserable 14th overall.

The list of problems is long at the under-performing team that rejected the outsanding talents of players like Malakai Fekitoa and Waisake Naholo, but Umaga does not think that a lack of hard work has been to blame for the poor results.

"To be honest, watching our players play, I thought our players worked hard," Umaga told the NZ Herald.

"I suppose sometimes they weren't clear enough in their direction. There were times I thought when they shouldn't have been working so hard in certain parts of the field, but that was just a game management thing. Those key areas of number 9, 10 and 15 are crucial in understanding that and that is an area of concern for us.

"Until I am involved and can understand the players and know what their processes are through game management and their game sense I won't know. But I don't think hard work is an issue.

"From what I saw, because a lot of guys weren't having any communication they thought, 'I'll just keep doing something'. So there was maybe a little bit of overworking, and because no one else was saying anything they kept doing it.

"If you have got players who are willing to work hard and go above and beyond, then what we have to make sure is that they are doing it in the right place. I don't think work ethic is a problem."