Leon MacDonald rates first Blues season as a failure: 'We didn't get into the playoffs'

Blues coach Leon MacDonald didn't hold back in his assessment of his first season in charge of the Auckland side, saying he didn't achieve his primary objective.

Taking over at the start of 2019, MacDonald endured a mixed first season as a Super Rugby coach, coming to an end with last night's 29-24 loss to the Hurricanes.

That scoreline will only haunt MacDonald though, with his side up 24-7 at one point.

While the Blues' class of 2019 had clearly improved under MacDonald - at one point picking up four straight wins and hoping for the Super Rugby finals for the first time since 2011.

However, they would still finish bottom of the New Zealand Super Rugby conference, six points behind the Chiefs and Highlanders, both of whom finished within the playoff positions.

Speaking to media in Wellington last night, MacDonald offered a frank assessment of his post-season thoughts.

"The way I work, I'm pretty competitive," MacDonald said. "It's not a pass [mark] for me."

"We didn't get into the playoffs, that was my goal.

"Whether it's a big margin or a small margin, if you don't get there, you don't get there.

MacDonald also says that results like the loss to the Hurricanes epitomised the Blues' season, unable to close out victories from winning positions.

"When you reflect on it, tonight was a good example of where we weren't quite good enough - not being able to control games that we had within our grasp.

"Like any setback, you can dwell and sulk, or you get busy and you start working on it.

"I know as a coaching group we'll be going that way, we'll be expecting and demanding our players to do so as well.

"We won't take anything less until we get there. We're going to work hard and make it happen."

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The Blues finished bottom of the New Zealand Super Rugby conference. Source: 1 NEWS

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