Auckland - The Blues have scored two tries in the first six minutes of the second
half to lift themselves to a 37-24, bonus-point win over the Hurricanes
in Super Rugby on Saturday, severely denting the Hurricanes' playoff
The Blues also scored two tries, one of
them a penalty try, within three minutes in the first half on their way
to a 15-7 lead at halftime and an upset win over their better-placed New
Zealand conference rival.
England coach Stuart Lancaster was an
interested spectator at the match, a week out from the first of his
team's three test matches against New Zealand on Auckland's Eden Park.
saw a physical confrontation between two New Zealand teams and a win to
the Blues which overturned predictions and severely undermined the
Hurricanes' playoff claims.
The Blues were almost out of playoffs
contention ahead of the 16th-round match and the Hurricanes were coming
off an impressive 45-8 win over defending champions the Chiefs.
made the Hurricanes overwhelming favorites but they struggled, as they
have throughout the season, to achieve back-to-back wins.
Blues played aggressively and largely controlled the match through the
first half, with a sound scrum and lineout and a fast-paced game that
left the Hurricanes reacting to rather than creating play.
Tuipulotu and Tom Donnelly were outstanding ball carriers and captain
Luke Braid provided a superb example at contested breakdowns.
guess it was just sticking to a plan that we came up with during the
week and the boys did it really well," Braid said.
"I think it was just
an attitude thing. We were slow to the breakdown last week so we were
big on taking them on up front this week."
The Hurricanes scored
the opening try, against the run of play, through flanker Failfili
Levave, who also scored their final try a minute before fulltime.
Blues gained a lead they didn't surrender for the remainder of the
match with a penalty try in the 14th minute and with a try to fullback
Lolagi Visinia three minutes later.
The penalty try was the third
awarded in this weekend's round of matches after two were given to the
Crusaders in their 30-7 win over the Western Force on Friday.
Match Official Glenn Newman ruled that Hurricanes fullback Matt Proctor
had deliberately knocked down a pass between Ma'a Nonu and Bryn Hall
during a Blues attack.
Referee Garratt Williamson responded both
by awarding the penalty try and sending Proctor to the sin bin.
Blues immediately took advantage of their numerical advantage by
creating a try when Visinia ran onto a kick behind the defense from
The Blues turned that tenuous halftime advantage into a
decisive lead with tries to flanker Jerome Kaino and winger George
Moala in the second and sixth minutes of the second half.
then added a try by Tuipulotu in the 65th minute.
The Hurricanes scored
second half tries through brothers Julian and Ardie Savea.
think we felt we were further behind than we were," Hurricanes captain
Conrad Smith said.
"We started well and then we didn't react well enough
when we were 14 men and gave up 14 points.
"I thought they
defended really well at the end of that first half and when we didn't
score we started panicking.
"There's not much between these sides, I say
that every week, and we weren't quite there, they turned up and that's
37 - Tries:
Penalty Try, Lolagi Visinia, Jerome Kaino, George Moala, Patrick Tuipulotu; Conversions:
Ihaia West (3); Penalties:
24 - Tries:
Faifili Levave (2), Julian Savea, Ardie Savea; Conversions:
Beauden Barrett (2)
15 Lolagi Visinia, 14 Frank Halai, 13 Pita Ahki, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 George Moala, 10 Ihaia West, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Jerome Kaino, 7 Luke Braid (captain), 6 Peter Saili, 5 Tom Donnelly, 4 Patrick Tuipulotu, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 Keven Mealamu, 1 Tony Woodcock
Substitutes: 16 James Parsons, 17 Ofa Tu'ungafasi, 18 Angus Ta'avao, 19 Hayden Triggs, 20 Steven Luatua, 21 Piri Weepu, 22 Simon Hickey, 23 Albert NikoroHurricanes
15 Matt Proctor, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Conrad Smith (captain), 12 Alapati Leiua, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Victor Vito, 7 Jack Lam, 6 Faifili Levave, 5 James Broadhurst, 4 Jeremy Thrush, 3 Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Ben Franks/Reggie Goodes
Substitutes: 16 Ash Dixon/Motu Matu'u/Goodes/ Michael Kainga, 17 Chris Eves, 18 Goodes/Brendon Edmonds, 19 Brad Shields, 20 Ardie Savea, 21 Chris Smylie, 22 Tim Bateman, 23 James Marshall