Blues coach Pat Lam is happy to have the underdog tag attached to his team ahead of their Super Rugby semifinal showdown with the Reds on Saturday.
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The fourth-placed Blues take on the table-topping Reds in Brisbane on Saturday and Lam said the team is "pretty excited and happy" just to be in the semifinals.
The Blues - who had not reached the play-offs since 2007 and won the last of their three titles in 2003 - we're really looking forward to the trip to Brisbane.
"It's been 12 years since the fourth-ranked side has beaten the top-ranked side," Lam said - with the Crusaders, in 1999, beat the then top-ranked Reds in the semifinals, before beating the Highlanders in the Final.
"We're rightly down as underdogs, as we have to travel to Brisbane," Lam said.
"We've lost to the Reds there before this season. They also have players coming back and they've had the week off, but that just adds to the challenge and the boys are relishing it."
Although the Blues have been widely criticised for not being able to produce an 80-minute game, Lam said at this level is it's a contest and no team, particularly in Super Rugby, has pulled out an 80-minute performance this year.
"If you look closely, all the things we're accused of not doing are exactly the same for the other teams," the Blues mentor said.
"In a game you've got tactics, you've got structures, you've got quality individuals, you've got all the different aspects that go into a professional game at the highest level and it's like a boxing match.
"When you've got two boxers together there are going to be times when one team or boxer is more dominant than the other; it's about how the boxer or opponent responds or counterpunches and bounces back from the pressure they're put under.
"Obviously the four teams that are still there have done that the most successfully this season and when you look at the teams that are out - Highlanders, Hurricanes, Chiefs, Sharks, defending champions Bulls, Lions, Cheetahs, Brumbies, Waratahs, Force and Rebels, for people to say that we've got there through luck and chance is very inaccurate and disrespectful to what the boys have been doing on the field.
"I'm very proud of all the players that have got us this far, but all players make mistakes."
He added that it is important for not only Blues players, but Blues supporters to recognise the achievements of the players and the efforts they have put in.
"I can reassure everyone that we're still not satisfied, we want to go to Suncorp Stadium, beat the Reds and get into the Final and the whole focus is all about our performance on the weekend."
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