It's hard to tell the current trajectory of the Blues' season but if they want to be certain it is on the right path, the No 10 jersey may well have to be given to Bryn Gatland for the next few weeks.

The unsolvable problem for the Blues of who to select at first-five may soon have a solution. They have tried Ihaia West and Piers Francis and neither has been able to provide the control, composure and direction the team needs.

But in a 25-minute cameo against the Hurricanes, Gatland came off the bench and hinted strongly he may be the pick of the bunch. The youngster isn't the perfect player by any means, but he's arguably a better fit for the Blues than anyone else in their midst.

Gatland comes with a kicking game that the Blues can exploit - as demonstrated when he fired a penalty 45 metres into the corner to set up a five-metre lineout from which the Blues should have scored late in the piece.


That may not sound much, but Francis, the man he replaced, had shown in recent weeks that his kicking lacked distance and too often he was putting penalties out too far from the opposition line.

The difference between trying to drive a maul 10 metres instead of five is massive and the Blues need to refining the detail of their game.

They have taken giant strides in regard to the foundations. Against the Hurricanes they confirmed they can compete with the best teams.

They again showed that they can play quality rugby in patches and score points spontaneously and from structured play. They are physical, organised and at times clinical.

But they haven't yet found that last missing piece to enable them to deliver all of their qualities for all of the game.

The next step is to find a way to nail all the little things in their game: to be relentlessly accurate for 80 minutes to ensure they capitalise on all their half chances and don't leave the door open the way they did against the Hurricanes.

That failing was best illustrated when the Hurricanes were reduced to 14 men before halftime when Beauden Barrett was sent to the sinbin for illegally impeding Augustine Pulu.

"I think we made some wrong decisions where we attacked and we didn't take the opportunities with him off the field," said Blues coach Tana Umaga.

"It is difficult when you are not getting points on the board because in the end, you have to realise that is why we are here. And if we are not getting it, then that is not good enough for us as a group.

"It is all good that we are improving, getting better and moving forward but at some stage we need to breakthrough and actually beat a New Zealand team. That is what we are being judged on.

"To be able to say we just about did isn't good enough any more and everyone realises that."

Gatland might not be the definitive solution as such, but his game looks set up to be confident he can deliver that consistency the Blues need.

He looks to have the game to ensure the Blues stay composed, play their rugby in the right places and make sure that they win more of those critical moments that so often determine the clashes between the New Zealand teams.