The Future is Blue
Warning - positive post below.
I continue to be impressed with the organisation that the Blues are building. Everything has stepped up since a few years ago - Board, Coaching, Admin, facilities, relationships between stakeholders, talent identification and so on. The board has led the creation of an org that should result in playoff contention every year, strong talent identification, and a place people want to play. In the medium term, putting yourself in contention each year is critical, and we’re not so reliant on one or two key pieces.
You can see it with the development of depth across the squad. We’ve gone from significant areas of weakness, to worrying about backups (or backups to the backups). The pool of talent has expanded, and the squad has built year on year to be in a good place. It is really fantastic to see.
We may not win the comp this year (knockout rugby is a thing), but there’s a culture building that is really high quality. You have to expect that next year we’ll be contending again - and with the talent scouting we have finally started to do, there’s a steady stream of talent starting up.
Feels really good right now. Really proud of both the team and the organisation, and what they are delivering. The challenge now is to take contention and turn it into titles, and then do it consistently.
I was reflecting at the game on Friday with a mate that the nadir of Blues was the loss to the Rebels 4 years ago. We left at half time - honestly, the rugby was so bad we couldn’t stay. To go from there to putting 70 up is a huge turnaround, that isn’t achieved without lots of really hard work behind the scenes. Beating the Crusaders away was huge for the mental game - win that, and the mental belief of the players really kicks in. Ideally we’re at home through the playoffs (barring a banana skin), and have a real shot at winning a title in front of the home fans.
So, really, the future is bright… the future is Blue.