Parsons defends under-fire Umaga

Blues captain James Parsons has voiced his support for under-fire coach Tana Umaga following the team’s disastrous 48-21 loss to the Sunwolves on Saturday.

The Auckland-based side produced arguably the worst performance in their Super Rugby history, conceding six second-half tries after leading 21-14 at the break.

It has been a stop-start season for the Blues as consistency has been their major problem with the side unable to put together a sustained winning run.

Winning under 50 percent of their games (7 from 15), the Blues were by far the worst-performing New Zealand franchise and the only Kiwi outfit not to make the playoffs.

The next worst-performing Kiwi side, in the form of the Highlanders, won 10 of their 14 games, three more than the Blues which shows the gulf in class between them and their other compatriots.

To be fair to Umaga’s men, they have shown glimpses of promise, such as in the 22-21 victory over the British and Irish Lions last month.

However, the season-ending meltdown against the Sunwolves in Tokyo, appears to have been the last straw for a large proportion of fed-up Blues fans who are now calling for Umaga’s head.

But skipper Parsons believes the blame can not lie solely at Umaga’s door and that the players have to take responsibility as well.

“I’ve had so many coaches over my career and, unfortunately I feel like the same problems are still there, so I don’t think everything can fall to the coaches,” Parsons told Radio Sport.

“It’s an easy fix, because it’s one man to get rid of, but I have full belief in Tana. We clearly have to make some changes – we’re just not getting the results – but he is a passionate Blues man and he’s in that building 24/7, trying to make us better.