Super Rugby 2020: Blues coach Leon MacDonald preaches importance of South Africa tour

Blues coach Leon MacDonald has sent a stern message to his side, urging them to lift their game for the upcoming two-match tour of South Africa. 

After three games, the Blues' only win of the season is against the winless Waratahs, having suffered defeats to the Chiefs and Crusaders. 

Their 25-8 defeat to the Crusaders on Friday night was their 11th straight against the three-time defending Super Rugby champions, leaving the Blues down on confidence for a tough trip. 

Next weekend, they face the winless Bulls, who the Blues last beat in Pretoria in 2012 before facing the South African conference-leading Stormers, who are yet to concede a point this season. 

"It is a big trip, it's an important time of the year," said MacDonald. 

"We've had some good performances and still plenty to work on but it's time to stand up over there. 

"It's going to be physical and rugged and if we don't match them on that front, you're going to suffer. We have to get it right off the field to get it right on it." 

MacDonald added that he feels two weeks together in South Africa will do his team good, so they can iron out the small details which have let them down this season. 

"They put us under pressure at set-piece. That's an area where we've been pretty strong in over the first couple of rounds. 

"They obviously did their homework there and got the results and it flowed through to the rest of their game. 

"It won't be pretty watching on the video but we'll going to have to suck this one up."  

One man who won't likely be on the plane to South Africa is lock Josh Goodhue, who left the field after eight minutes against the Crusaders with an ankle injury.

The loss of Goodhue was a big reason why the Blues struggled with set-pieces. 

"He's our main caller and the hub of the lineout so that affected us. It looks like he will be out [of the trip to South Africa].

"I'll need to speak to the doctor,  but to come off the way he did so early I'd suggest it's a reasonable injury." 

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