Blues target set piece against Kings

The Blues want to ramp up their set piece against the Southern Kings as they try to snap a long Super Rugby drought away from home.

After back-to-back wins at Eden Park, the Blues next face the bottom-of-the-table Kings in Port Elizabeth.

Assistant coach Glenn Moore says the lineout and scrum will be a focus of preparations ahead of the match on Sunday morning (NZT).

“We need to pick it up another level,” he said.

“When you come over to South Africa, it’s another step. In front of South African crowds, we need to be on our game.”

The Blues have opted for a settled selection, with just two changes, one of them forced, to their starting 15.

Melani Nanai comes in on the right wing for Rieko Ioane, who has been recalled to the New Zealand sevens squad, and Ofa Tu’ungafasi takes over from Charlie Faumuina at tighthead prop.

Moore said Faumuina would provide impact and experience off the bench, but the move to hold the All Black back was also partly with next week’s clash with the Lions in mind.

The Blues sit eighth in the Australian group, in which five teams will get playoff spots.

To consolidate their recent momentum, they will need to do something they last achieved in June 2014 – win on the road.

But Moore said it wasn’t a statistic the team, under new coach Tana Umaga, were dwelling on.

“We don’t look back to previous years,” he said.

“We’ve done a lot of homework on the Kings and we’re just really focused on going about our business.”

The Kings have managed just one victory this year and are coming off a 73-27 defeat to the Jaguares.

Like the Blues, they are having to get over jet lag, having flown back from Buenos Aires.

The match at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium will feature a Super Rugby debut for Argentine referee Federico Anselmi, an official Moore said he didn’t know much about.

“At the end of the day we just have to make sure we’re squeaky clean with how we apply ourselves in the game, and particularly around that tackle area.”

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