Tana Umaga has defended over-ruling the Blues players in the disappointing draw with the Reds in Brisbane.

Trailing by three points, Blues coach Umaga ordered Ihaia West to kick a simple penalty on fulltime rather than go for a match winning try.

It meant the Blues avoided a third consecutive defeat but the players clearly wanted to go for a lineout drive and bid for victory against the depleted Reds, one of the worst-rated teams in the 2016 Super Rugby competition. Under a 2016 rule change, a lineout can be set up after the final hooter has sounded.

Umaga said his decision was influenced by his team being a man down - Sione Mafileo was in the sin bin - and the heat which had drained their energy. He told the post-match press conference that he thought it better to definitely come away with some points.

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The decision netted the Blues two points for the draw, only one more than they would have secured anyway. Had they gone for the try and failed, they would have gained a point for staying within the seven point margin unless the Reds had turned over the ball and gone the length of the field to score.