Wednesday, April 24, 2024
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Cotter wary of dangers posed by Drua

Coach Vern Cotter understands the dangers posed by the Drua in the Blues’ Super Rugby Pacific season opener in Whangārei today.

After ending a 17-year hiatus to return to the New Zealand game, the former Flying Fijians head coach is keen to launch the new season in style.

“You don’t want to play Fijian rugby against them,” Cotter told

“They’re the best in the world at it. So we want to play a brand of rugby that suits us and suits the team we’re playing against.”

“We need to find what they don’t like, and give them everything they don’t like.”

The Blues understand that, for all their firepower out wide, where they boast a back four that is as good as anything in this competition, their advantages lie upfront.

Squeeze them, and they can be contained. Fail to do that, and you reap the consequences

“We know how good they can be,” said Cotter.

“It’s about being accurate and having the necessary concentration to put them under pressure, because if we don’t, and give them space and time, they’ll hurt us like they do every other tea.”

“We’ve just got to be ready for everything. That’s the key to rugby these days. You get your head up, take in information and get yourself around the paddock.”

In terms of what he expects from a first-up performance, the grizzled coach, dubbed ‘Stern Vern’ by his senior forwards, is keeping expectations at a realistic level.

“It’s about performance.”

“We don’t expect everything to be right. We’ve got things we want to put in place. I feel we’ve got a good team out on the paddock, and when the whistle blows we want to be ready. We’re very focused on starting the season well.”

“We just need to control situations, and adapt really quickly because the Drua are going to give us things we probably haven’t seen, and things will come off for them that probably won’t come off for other teams.”

“So, with that unpredictability we’ve got to adapt and connect very quickly. We want to see the team function and stay alive in all moments, good and bad. We want to see three or four good moments strung together, and then string another three.”

The Blues vs Drua clash kicks off at 3.35pm (Fiji Time).

Reginald Chandar
Reginald Chandar
Head of News & Sports |


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