Ex-All Black explains why Blues No. 10 Stephen Perofeta looks ‘unsettled’


Rugby World Cup-winning All Black Mils Muliaina has suggested the Blues should potentially give Zarn Sullivan goal-kicking duties this week after Stephen Perofeta’s shocker in round four.

Perofeta, who before the season was deemed to be a two-horse race for the All Blacks’ No. 10 jersey, missed at least a few shots at goal during the Blues’ 12-10 win over the Waratahs.

The playmaker’s goal-kicking woes somewhat reflected the performance of the Blues as a collective as they struggled to find their groove after losing Rieko Ioane early to a HIA.

spacer-new Ex-All Black explains why Blues No. 10 Stephen Perofeta looks 'unsettled'

Ioane, 27, has been ruled out of the Blues’ first home match of the season with the Aucklanders set to host arch-rivals the Crusaders at Eden Park on Saturday evening.

Match Summary

With the Blues forced to make another change in the midfield, All Blacks great Mils Muliaina has explained why Stephen Perofeta has looked “a little bit unsettled” this season.

“Only in the beginning of the year the fact that really it’s between him and Damian McKenzie for the All Blacks,” Muliaina said on Stan Sports’ The Call Up.

He hasn’t really had, I suppose… he’s always had different guys in there (the midfield). Him and (Finlay) Christie had to sort of find their way against the Hurricanes.

“He seems a little bit unsettled, unsettled with the guys outside him – Byrce Heem now backs up once again. He does, he doesn’t seem as cohesive as perhaps he wants to be.

“I think the more they get those combinations together the better he’ll become and perhaps one of those things is handing the young fella Zarn Sullivan those kicking opportunities rather than having that sort of pressure on him.”

Playing at Sydney’s Allianz Stadium on Saturday night, the Blues had to wait 35 minutes to score their first points with prop Ofa Tu’ungafasi crashing over for a much-needed try.

The visitors led by just four points heading into the break, and while they struck first through Zarn Sullivan midway through the second, it was a tense matchup throughout.

Perofeta missed shots at goal in the 55th, 58th and 61st minutes while the NSW Waratahs rallied in front of their home supporters, eventually scoring a try with two minutes to play.

But the Blues hung on in the end by a slim margin of just two points.

“Perhaps it was an ugly game to win but they’re still winning and that’s the key factor,” Muliaina explained.

“They seem, to me, a little bit disjointed in how they actually want to play, whether they want to play the tight stuff. But they’re also making mistakes in crucial moments.

“Perhaps a little bit of leadership, Patrick Tuipulotu coming back in, Angus Ta’avao – Tuipulotu I think is playing his 100th game. Ricky Riccitelli, we know how good he is when it comes to set-piece time.

“Losing Rieko Ioane, they’ve still got a steady backline in terms of bringing AJ Lam in there, he understands also what’s needed to connect those midfielders with the outside backs.”



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