Booze banned in Blues’ camp ahead of Sharks clash

2011-02-22 00:00

THE Blues are taking Saturday’s Super Rugby game against the Sharks in Durban so seriously that they have imposed a ban on alcohol.

The pledge was made by the Blues players shortly after their excellent 24-22 win over seven-time champions Crusaders, a game which involved 22 past and present All Blacks.

Less dramatic was their agreement on a casual but uniform dress code for their long trek to Durban.

But the signs are there that the Blues are united and confident and the Sharks will be under the cosh at King’s Park on Saturday evening.

Blues coach Pat Lam had four hours’ sleep on Saturday night and then watched the Sharks play the Cheetahs and reviewed the Auckland win.

“It gave me a rough idea of how we want to play. I saw the Sharks too and that helps a lot.”

His first priority is for the erratic Blues to find some consistency this season.

“We have to move on from some of our erratic patterns, even in the little things we do. Everyone needs to be accountable and we have to set the bar higher,” he told reporters.

Lam said the win over the Crusaders was “a massive boost for our confidence and belief”.

“The players were still calm in the changing room at half-time [down 6-19], they had clarity, they knew they did not need to throw it round all over the place, but they needed to keep working hard for each other.”

Lam was confident of a second-spell revival.

“Our methods were going well. I also saw the attitude I wanted to see from the guys. They were doing the work and just hadn’t got the reward.

“They showed a lot of commitment across the field and at the breakdown.”

The Blues stayed over in Sydney on Sunday night and flew to Durban yesterday.

All Black utility back Luke McAlister is with the 26-strong group after being cleared from concussion.

“It is important that we nail the right game plan and that we have enough gas left in the tank,” Lam said of Saturday’s game and using his bench in the humidity of Durban.

The game kicks off on Saturday at 5.05 pm and South African referee Jaco Peyper will be handling the game.

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