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Kirwan happy to claim five points after travel

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Sportal.co.nz     22 Mar 2014     Getty Images

Centre George Moala crossed for a try and while the TMO had said a double movement was involved the referee, Argentinian Francisco Pastrana had over-ruled him and awarded the try.

Kirwan said he would probably agree with Cheetahs coach Naka Drotske in querying the try but he felt the yellow card on flanker Boom Prinsloo was legitimate although he would understand if the Cheetahs felt differently, which they did.

Kirwan said he thought it had been a great 80-minute effort after the week they had endured. The coaches thought the team would run out of juice as a result of their long haul flight back from South Africa and the bench had come on and contributed.

"It's been a tough week and it was a must-win for us and we managed to get five points," he said. "Flying back from South Africa is tough, and we had a pretty tough week so I was really pleased with the effort.

Kirwan said he had probably aged a few years in the last few moments of the game when the Cheetahs twice dropped the ball in plays five metres from the Blues' line.

The Blues went into the game having to work with each other and make plenty of effort off the ball, he said.

"And that's what we did. For me I wasn't looking for anything else other than guys working hard for each other. Don't under-estimate how hard it is this week," he said.

Kirwan did think the scrum had become a lottery and it needed to be looked at and it was a difficult thing to referee.

"I think maybe as a game we need to look at where we are heading with that," he said.

But he said it wasn't possible to launch from scrums now because there was a penalty or something else and something needed to be looked at.

Captain Luke Braid said there had been some nervous energy leading into the game which was reflected in some early dropped balls.

"We couldn't get the flow but happy with the effort the guys were making. They made mistakes because they were trying hard as opposed to making mistakes because they were being lazy which was a huge attitude shift for us. We've just got to build on that looking towards the Highlanders," he said.

Kirwan said the Blues would have to raise their level against the Highlanders next Saturday. It was a local derby and a different style than the South African teams the Blues have faced in the last three weeks.

"I think the Highlanders are playing really well and we're at home and I think it is really important for our conference and where we are in the league now because we've come trucking back into it after tonight," he said.

"It will be a big night for us for how the conference is situated from a points point of view," he said.