Nacewa’s return to boost Blues attack

Fullback Isa Nacewa is set to make an early comeback for the Blues which could give their attack a significant boost in the business end of the tournament.

Nacewa will not be ready to make his return against the Waratahs this weekend but the Blues medical staff have indicated that he could be ready for the Blues week nine clash against the Brumbies at Eden Park.

Nacewa picked up his medial ligament injury in his right knee against the Cheetahs and coincidentally that is when the Blues seemed to lose their attack.

Specialist advice was that he would be ready for the Blues round 11 match with the Crusaders but his recovery has been better than expected.

While Nacewa has been out they have had mixed performances from Ben Atiga and George Pisi at fullback and one of them will have to stand in again for Nacewa.

The only injury fro the Blues last week was Tighthead prop John Afoa but he was walking freely yesterday on his tender thigh.

Coach David Nucifora has eased the load on some of his players in order to get them through to the bye. No 8 Nick Williams played only the last quarter against the Bulls and wing Anthony Tuitavake was given the game off so both are likely to be picked when the team is announced.

The Blues opposition this week is the Waratahs who have also been struggling in attack and coach Ewen McKenzie is rumoured to have lost his job.

“I have probably got some empathy and sympathy for Ewen,” Nucifora told the NZ Herald.

“He’s a good mate of mine from my playing days and I do feel for him being put under the pump like that but it’s something that goes with the job.”

The Blues have battled with two losses and two narrow wins in the last month. While the drop in form has concerned Nucifora he sees the positive in that his side had matured from recent years when the side lacked the composure to escape in close matches.

“Our defence has been good, our scrambling work too, but realistically we need to get the fluency back into our attack and that is going to be the main focus,” he said.

A major overhaul was not needed, just some tinkering with tactics and a concentrated look at the way the Waratahs were playing.

The hosts are mid-table but bullish they can recover to derail the Blues.

“We’re only coasting at the Waratahs, playing in about third gear,” wing Lote Tuqiri wrote in his column.

“We’re letting ourselves down at times and only playing at about 30 to 40 per cent of our capabilities.”

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