Patrick McKendry

Patrick McKendry is a rugby writer for the Herald.

Rugby: Away record a touchy subject

Keven Mealamu.
Keven Mealamu.

Blues coach John Kirwan says the team's atrocious away record under his reign needs addressing.

However, the question for him must be: Where do you start without making it even more of a mental issue?

His team's 26-9 defeat to the Brumbies in Canberra before last weekend's bye was their 11th straight away defeat since he took over at the start of last season.

Their last win on the road was on February 23, 2013, a surprisingly comprehensive 34-20 victory over the Hurricanes in Wellington in what was his first game in charge.

"It's just something we need to address," he said yesterday.

According to the players, though, he hasn't talked to the team about it, and that's probably not surprising.

Putting more pressure on would probably cause them to retreat into their shells, the last thing the Blues, who play best with an attacking mindset, need.

Chris Noakes, who has been given the nod for the No 10 jersey this week and who started in last year's stunning victory at the Cake Tin, said: "I'm aware of it [the away record]. Wellington was the last place we won.

"Whether we can take anything from that, I don't think we can, but it's just about getting yourself ready and mentally right.

"If you think about it too much it's just an added pressure that you don't need. We haven't addressed it as a team, it's just about preparing like we would for any other game."

Veteran hooker Keven Mealamu added: "It feels like our preparation is the same [away from home]. It feels like nothing changes. I don't know if it's a coincidence that we can't win our games away from home but we want to make sure we turn that around this weekend. We haven't talked about winning away, but making sure we play well. If we get that part of the process right it gives us a good chance to get the outcome we're after."

Blues' away form since the start of last season

• Feb 23, 2013: Won v Hurricanes, Wellington, 34-20
• March 24: Lost v Waratahs, Sydney, 30-27
• March 30: Lost v Chiefs, Rotorua, 23-16
• April 26: Lost v Reds, Brisbane, 12-11
• May 18: Lost v Crusaders, Christchurch, 23-3
• June 1: Lost v Highlanders, Dunedin, 38-28
• June 30: Lost v Sharks, Durban, 22-20
• July 7: Lost v Cheetahs, Bloemfontein, 34-13
• Feb 22, 2014: Lost v Highlanders, Dunedin, 29-21
• March 9: Lost v Bulls, Pretoria, 38-22
• March 16: Lost v Lions, Johannesburg, 39-36.
April 4: Lost v Brumbies, Canberra, 26-9

- APNZ

Stats provided by

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf03 at 27 Dec 2014 11:30:08 Processing Time: 525ms