theblues.co.nz 15.Feb.2014Getty Images
The Blues were once again guilty of turning over possession far too often as the counter-attacking Chiefs made them pay dearly.
“We just needed to hang onto the ball a wee bit more, we were putting ourselves under pressure with our individual skill,” Kirwan said.
“When we hang onto the ball we can get through the phases and look good but when you hold onto the ball for two phases then turn it over you’re just putting yourselves under the pump. We need to have a bit more personal pride around our individual skill.”
Indeed when the Blues held onto the ball they looked incredibly dangerous, as demonstrated by Charles Piutau’s two thrilling tries in the space of three minutes which brought the visitors right back into the game at 21-12.
“That’s the sort of stuff that we can do, that was Blues rugby,” Kirwan said.
“Getting front foot ball doing what we do well and I thought we got right back in the game and then we got back down there and gave away a penalty and they scored straight after which was a momentum shift.
“It’s terribly frustrating when you know that if you can hang onto the ball you can create pressure. When you create pressure you can do heaps. We’ve got a little bit of work to do but I’m pretty happy that we’ll be right for next week.”
However it was not all bad news for the Blues. The visitors shored up their work around the ruck and Charlie Faumuina, Steven Luatua and Piri Weepu were all reintegrated back into the side.
To read more about Sir John's thoughts on the pre-season match, visit the Blues.