Tom Robinson will regain the revolving Blues captaincy duties this week as Leon MacDonald's men attempt to stop the rot that is their back-pedalling campaign.
One win from the side's past five games - and failing to achieve this season's stated goal of reaching the maiden Super Rugby Aotearoa final - paints a grim picture for a club that now has one final shot against its domestic rivals to right some wrongs.
The Blues will again be without captain Patrick Tuipulotu - who remains out with his neck-shoulder injury - and All Blacks loose forward Dalton Papalii for their final-round match against the in-form Chiefs at Eden Park on Saturday.
Papalii shared the captaincy with Rieko Ioane in the deflating 29-6 defeat to the Crusaders in Christchurch last week, only to limp from the field near the end of the match after suffering a knee knock.
"It was a bit different. I felt like there were a few moments where I could have been a bit better talking to the team and getting some clear messages out, but it was a privilege," the 23-year-old Papalii, one of the Blues' best this year in his favoured openside role, said of assuming the captaincy.
"The injury didn't dwell on me straight after the game, but the next day it was bloody sore.
"It's MCL, between grade one and two, so probably three weeks. The physio and doctors are chirping in my ear about staying tight on the rehab.
"We had our game plan in place but it's those little moments we're not executing like we did last year. We're upset that we couldn't make the final but this is a good opportunity for us to get momentum going into the transtasman games, so we're going to go out there and have some fun."
While Papalii and Tuipulotu are targeting returns for the transtasman competition – the Blues are scheduled to travel to Melbourne to face the Rebels in their opening round on May 14 - Robinson will make a timely comeback from concussion this week.
The energetic loose forward/lock has three stitches in the side of his face from the head clash he suffered early in the loss to the Highlanders in Dunedin two weeks ago; but declared he has sufficiently recovered to lead the Blues against the Chiefs.
Having captained the Blues to their sole success in the past five weeks - over the Hurricanes at Eden Park - Robinson is keen to maintain his unbeaten record.
"I was a bit symptomatic the first few days after that knock so I didn't have time to get through the protocols, but I've been all good since. I'm good to go," Robinson said.
"With Paddy and Dalts out I'll be skip again. Last time I went for the William Wallace speech; maybe a bit of Martin Luther King this time, I'll see how it goes."
Following a string of disappointing performances marred by frustrating discipline, option-taking and execution, the Blues held a team meeting on Tuesday where the squad addressed a stuttering end to an Aotearoa season that has quashed intentions of making the final.
"That was our goal, so it hurts, it does, but there's no point dwelling - we need to get better," Robinson said. "We're gutted we can't make the final, but that's how it is.
"We had a good chat this morning around what this week means to us. We've all collectively agreed it's massive. There's still silverware on the line with the transtasman competition.
"It's not like we're miles away, there's just a few moments we need to nail. We feel we're training really well, at times playing really well. A good win could get that ball rolling, a bit like the Chiefs.
"If we get a good win this weekend, we can take that momentum through to the Aussie competition.
"We owe it to ourselves because we're working hard, training hard and we owe a good performance to our fans too."
With the Chiefs already assured of a place in next week's final against the Crusaders in Christchurch, the side has the option of resting influential figures against the Blues. That will be weighed against risking the infectious confidence garnered from their five-match unbeaten run.
"They're on a roll," Robinson said. "They've got some exciting players and workhorses but we want them to be up for it. We want a full on battle."