June 16, 2021
Impressive number 8 Hoskins Sotutu who shares links to Fiji is hitting a vein of his best form of the season and is preparing hard to meet the Highlanders in Super Rugby Trans-Tasman final on Saturday.
It will be the Blues' first final since 2003.
Sotutu's best form has been seen during the most recent rounds of the competition, and he put that down to getting balance in his game between doing the hard grafting work and the individual touches that he enjoys doing.
Sotutu told Super rugby news that there was a realisation after they defeated Force 31-21 on Saturday that they could have played better, but they were happy to secure a home final, something they had been trying to achieve for a long time.
"Getting that balance right, I find I am in a position to get my hand on the ball and I'm doing other stuff to help the team out.”
"Everyone is pretty keen to get stuck in next week. We know the Blues have been through tough years, and there's been a lot of emotions, a lot of downs."
“But they wanted to work hard and regain the support of their Blues region. Making the final was ' pretty special to us,” he said.
Sotutu said they are keen to play in the final at Eden Park and are focused on what Highlanders will bring this week.
"Having the Crusaders not in the final is pretty weird, especially the last few years, but I think a lot of New Zealand will be happy to see that, maybe.”
The Blues picked up when they lost to the Highlanders in Super Rugby Aotearoa, what they could expect in the final.
"They pounced on every opportunity. We know how they can play, they are a pretty x-factor team. They score some pretty cool tries off the set-piece, and we know they can be pretty clinical when they have to be.”
"We proved in the first game against them here, that we put on a show, and did pretty well, so hopefully we can do that again," he added.
The Blues found consistency in the Trans-Tasman version, and the players had found what made them tick during their week to perform at 100 per cent on game days.
Coach Leon MacDonald was delighted Sotutu had timed his run to form so well.
"Hoskins is extremely skillful. When we had been struggling for a little bit, he turned the pressure round and gave us good field position, which is important.”
"He's multi-skilled, he's an ex-water polo player so he's got the ability to use the ball and offload at another level to everybody else. Having Aki [Akira Ioane] coming off the bench with his physicality was a nice little mix as well," MacDonald said.
The Trans-Tasman final between Blues and Highlanders kicks off at 7.05pm on Friday.
By Romeka Romena