Blues out for redemption against Force

The Blues want to channel embarrassment into a winning formula against the Western Force in Perth.

Last week’s 43-5 loss to the Lions – the second-biggest defeat in their 276-game Super Rugby history – has sent the Blues into a week of introspection after having won their three previous games.

Assistant coach Glenn Moore is ignoring the parlous state of their play-off hopes and the struggles of the 16th-placed Force.

Instead the focus since leaving Johannesburg has been on the honing the mental state of the players.

Nobody was remotely happy with their listless showing in the heavy rain at Ellis Park, with the forwards lacking physicality and the backline opened up with ease.

“It’s been drilled right down to individuals. It’d be fair to say there’s a fair amount of embarrassment about how we played,” Moore said.

“It won’t take a lot to get a mindset shift and an attitude shift.”

It was just their fourth loss from 10 games and leaves them still with a play-off chance, even though the four other Kiwi teams are ahead of them and the nearest team – the Hurricanes – are 11 points clear.

Moore’s team will be buoyed by their record in Perth, where they have recorded three wins and a draw in four visits.

It bucks a miserable trend in Australia. Their only win across the Tasman in the last four years was over the Force in 2014.

That record has little bearing on a team who are desperate to win, with three of their last four games to be played at Eden Park.

“It comes down to our mental preparation and everyone being on the same page and just absolutely focused,” Moore said.

“You can definitely see an edge here.”

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