Vodacom Super 14

Rokocoko hat-trick sinks Force

2010-04-17 09:15
Joe Rokocoko (File)
Auckland - All Blacks winger Joe Rokocoko scored a hat-trick of tries to spark the Blues to a 38-17 victory over the Western Force in their Super 14 match at Eden Park on Saturday, keeping alive their slim playoffs hopes.

Tony Woodcock, Alby Mathewson and Rudi Wulf also scored tries for the home side, while Luke McAlister slotted four conversions as the Blues moved to seventh on the table on 25 points.

The Blues, who now head to South Africa for three matches, are four points behind the fourth-placed Waratahs (29), who have a bye week.

"It's a great way to head away and nice for the boys to open up (and score some tries)," Blues captain Keven Mealamu said in a televised interview. "I thought that was a really good team effort."

The opening 10 minutes were blighted by poor handling, elementary errors and terrible decision making by both sides, with the Western Force's James O'Connor slotting just one of his three penalty attempts.

The Blues finally began to gain some territory and string phases together and Rokocoko imposed himself on the match with two tries within 10 minutes, while he also sparked the move that led to prop Woodcock's try.

McAlister, given the goalkicking duties ahead of Stephen Brett, made two awful attempts before he converted two of the tries to give the home side a 19-3 lead at the break.

Mathewson opened the scoring in the second half when he took a quick tap penalty and was untroubled by any of the Force defenders, and Rokocoko completed his hat-trick shortly after following a superb short pass from McAlister.

Rudi Wulf scored the Blues' sixth try with 15 minutes remaining but the Force scored two consolation tries in the final five minutes, to openside flanker David Pocock and a penalty try to end the game. O'Connor converted both.

In next weekend's Round 11 action, the Blues travel to Durban to face the Sharks, while the Force host the Crusaders in Perth.


15. Isaia Toeava, 14. Joe Rokocoko, 13. Benson Stanley, 12. Luke McAlister, 11. Rudi Wulf, 10. Stephen Brett, 9. Alby Mathewson, 8. Viliami Ma'afu, 7. Tom Chamberlain, 6. Jerome Kaino, 5. Filo Paulo, 4. Kurtis Haiu, 3. John Afoa, 2. Keven Mealamu (captain), 1. Tony Woodcock

Substitutes: 16. Tom McCartney, 17. Tevita Mailau, 18. Andrew Van der Heijden, 19. Peter Saili, 20. Chris Smylie, 21. Rene Ranger, 22. Paul Williams

Western Force:

15. James O`Connor, 14. Mark Bartholomeusz, 13. Mitch Inman, 12. Ryan Cross, 11. Cameron Shepherd, 10. David Hill, 9. Chris O`Young, 8. Richard Brown, 7. David Pocock, 6. Matthew Hodgson, 5. Nathan Sharpe (Captain), 4. Tom Hockings, 3. Timothy Fairbrother, 2. Nathan Charles, 1. Nic Henderson

Substitutes: 16. Ben Whittaker, 17. Matt Dunning, 18. Sam Wykes, 19. Ben McCalman, 20. Justin Turner, 21. Sam Harris, 22. Nick Cummins

Read more on:    super 14  |  force  |  blues

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