Opinion: Blues, take a leaf out of the Warriors' book and stand by Tana Umaga

It's not every day someone says the Warriors should be an example of how you should do your business in sport – then again it's not every day the Warriors start their season six-and-one.

But that's the position they're in and if the Blues ever want to know that kind of sensation again, they need to look across town to their cross-code mates.

Over the last 12 years, the Auckland Super Rugby club has chewed up and spat out three coaches and now there's some naïve critics who think the same treatment should be applied to Tana Umaga.

The Blues lost another local derby, going down 41-34 to the Highlanders. Source: 1 NEWS

Prior to Umaga's appointment in 2016, David Nucifora, Pat Lam and Sir John Kirwan were all tasked with turning around the Blues and returning them to the glory days headlined by King Carlos, Doug Howlett and Joe Rokocoko.

Needless to say, all three didn't and the Blues haven't won a title in 15 years.

In fact, they haven't finished inside the top four on standings since 2011.

Which brings me to the Warriors – it's almost uncanny how similar the storylines are between the two clubs.

There's the back-to-back disappointing seasons, the unfulfilled potential of star-studded back lines and the constant dismissal of coaches who were blamed for it all.

That was until the Warriors went off script last season.

The boys are back in training head of the new NRL season. Source: 1 NEWS

Stephen Kearney in his first season at the head of the Warriors coached the team to its second-worst position on the NRL ladder since Ivan Cleary departed in 2012.

Such results in the past saw other coaches shooed out the door – Brian McClennan and Matthew Elliot got the boot before the season had even wrapped up.

But here's the lesson for the Blues – the organisation stuck by Kearney this offseason and instead built a strong management around him.

While a lot of the talk has fallen on the on-field recruits like Blake "Kakariki" Green and Tohu Harris, there has been a serious change behind the scenes which has seen the Warriors' fabled 'final 20 minutes collapse' disappear so far this season.

Strength and conditioning coach Alex Corvo has a reputation throughout the NRL for getting results and has been involved in several Premiership title wins with the Storm before guiding the Broncos to two straight finals appearances.

He may just be one man but Corvo's ability to get the best out of the players off the field means Kearney is finally getting the best out of his game plans on the field.

If you look at Umaga's resume with Counties, it shows he knows the game and has the "rugby brain" as Blues CEO Michael Redman calls it to lead a team to win a championship.

Throwing him out the door makes zero sense when you look at what he's been able to develop in small doses in his time there – the Ioane brothers a prime example.

Instead, the Blues need to take a note out of the Warriors' book and build the right team off the field so the talent they are blessed with can get it right on the field.

Get that right and there will be another bandwagon in Auckland.

"Changing coaches every cycle hasn't worked," Michael Redman said. Source: 1 NEWS

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