Auckland coach Wayne Pivac was singing the praises of Gareth Anscombe in his team's 43-32 win over Taranaki last night, but couldn't comment on speculation that he's been dumped by the Blues.
One News has reported that the first-five has been de-listed new Blues coach Sir John Kirwan.
Anscombe was off limits to the media after last night's win at Eden Park, while Pivac said he couldn't talk about the situation.
"I can't comment on any contractual issues surrounding the player," Pivac said.
"But I can talk to you about his form and I thought he had a superb game."
Pivac was certainly right about Anscombe's performance against Taranaki, he nailed all eight shots at goal and led the team's attack well.
But it has taken a while to reach this level of form in 2012. He struggled in a poor Blues team earlier this year and had a shocking game against Canterbury a few weeks ago.
But against Taranaki he showed why he was a standout player for the New Zealand under-20 team a couple of years ago and talked about being a future All Black.
It would be a big call for Kirwan to de-list Anscombe, but there has been rumours circulating that he is chasing Hawke's Bay's playmaker Dan Waenga and he also has Chris Noakes and Michael Hobbs signed up for next season.
Under former Blues coach Pat Lam, Anscombe was built up as a key player for the franchise's future and Pivac says he is seeing big improvements in his game.
"Gareth is getting better each week," he said.
"He is a player that's had a few injuries, he started the season with us late and he's taken a bit of time to warm into his game, but certainly the goal kicking had been outstanding.
"His general play (against Taranaki) was pretty and he had one of his best games."
As for last night's game, Pivac said he was delighted how the players bounced back from their disappointing loss to the Steamers last Friday.
"Everybody within the group was pretty disappointed with the Bay of Plenty game and we knew we were better than that after a pretty solid performance against Waikato," Pivac said.
"We were desperate to do well and clearly we had a fantastic start.
"There were errors in that first half and a couple of tries went begging, which we've got to be more clinical about and take those opportunities, but certainly we're very happy about the result and getting the bonus point try was very much a bonus for us.
"We just wanted a credible performance after Bay of Plenty and to get back on track and I think we achieved that."
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