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Mealamu feeling optimistic

Blues captain Keven Mealamu is determined the lessons from his side's last visit to Brisbane are put in place ahead of this weekend's Super Rugby semi-final against the Reds.

Pat Lam's side trailed by 24 points after a nightmare opening quarter of the regular-season clash but fought back to lose by just six points in a 37-31 reverse and the All Blacks hooker believes there is plenty his side can take from that contest as they look to advance to a first final since 2003.

"We've really got to make the most of this opportunity to be in the semis, it's been such a long time," said Mealamu. "I think if we take the learnings from the last time in Brisbane we can come off with a really good result. If we can eliminate those first 20 minutes we will put ourselves in a better situation."

But the Blues have been dealt an injury blow ahead of the last for clash in Queensland, with lock Anthony Boric and prop Tony Woodcock absent due to foot problems.

In Boric's absence flanker Jerome Kaino will be entrusted with stepping in to provide a line-out option, and Mealamu admitted: "We're going to have to be smart and use our line-out ball well."

Mealamu is also looking forward to stepping out at Suncorp Stadium, believing the 52,000 capacity ground to be one of the best around.

"I think the fact it is a close stadium, the feeling on the field is that the crowd feels really close so there's a good atmosphere there," he said.

"There's good supporters as well. They're loud, and there're a lot of Kiwis over there as well.

"But it will be important to put the excitement of the occasion to one side and to concentrate on the process of how best to approach the game with a win in mind.

"We've just got to take care of the job at hand and that's looking at the best way for us to be at 100% when we hit the field on Saturday."


From Belfast Telegraph