Blues storm troopers may need occasional forward offensive

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James Mortimer     04 Mar 2014     Getty Images

It is no exaggeration that the likes of Frank Halai and Tevita Li fulfilled roles in the Blues backline that could suggest they are among Sir John Kirwan’s crack squad of personal storm troopers.

The description is thus.

Trained but more importantly distinctive in their unique abilities, the storm trooper was a specialised soldier who can rapidly and without warning penetrate enemy defensive lines, isolate the weak point and cause chaos in the rear guard.

As we saw more of the vision and approach the Blues are trying to put together, the Crusaders lead and efforts came to nil as the men from Auckland unleashed the sort of game that looks capable of blowing any team off the park.

Coach Todd Blackadder and the Crusaders believed they made too many mistakes that allowed the hosts back into the game, but one suspects when the Blues click, they will be hard to stop.

Their attacking game and defensive numbers were ultimately superior to the red and blacks, but the win wasn’t all rose tinted.

The Blues set piece was inferior to a Crusaders scrum and lineout that is rightfully measured among the best in the business, and this is where the three-time champions will be wary if there is to be a fourth etching on the trophy.

Keven Mealamu and Tony Woodcock’s services will provide some element of this platform, as will the promise of the last weekend’s locking combination of Patrick Tuipulotu and Tom Donnelly.

Luke Braid has already proven to be a gritty and committed captain, and if he and his men up front provide the first steps for a backline of storm troopers, then the Blues may build into 2014 as a title threat.