Belfast Telegraph

Monday 29 December 2014

Lam prepared for knock-out rugby

Blues coach Pat Lam is confident his side are over the set-piece frustrations that marred their late run in the Super Rugby competition ahead of Friday's play-off match with the Waratahs at Eden Park.

An inability to achieve consistency across both halves had been a problem during the four-game losing streak which was ended with Friday's win over the Highlanders.

"In last week's game we stepped up there. There's enough quality in that team and they've got a lot of pride. They want to nail that," Lam said.

The information gained from the side's losses was a constant reminder that the side had to re-commit to achieving the basics in their game.

"It's more about doing what we have to do to win the game. We don't have bonus points, we've just got to do the job," Lam said.

All the requirements of knockout rugby have been addressed in the preparation including the need for drop goals and extra time.

Lam said: "There's enough senior guys here to talk through scenarios. Obviously you don't want to get to that stage, you want to win the game but you do go through everything and tick as much as you can."

While injuries might have hit the Waratahs, Lam was not discounting the impact of players called in from their wider training group.

They were dangerous, he said, and he had asked the Blues to ponder how some of the Blues' wider training group would react if given the chance to play.

"They would be buzzing. It makes them more dangerous when a guy gets an opportunity to get out there and play, and even if he is unknown it makes it tougher," he said. "At the end of the day it is going to come to teamwork, and that is going to be key."

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