Cape Town - Former rugby league star Benji Marshall made an encouraging debut for the Blues on Saturday, despite his side losing 38-35 to the Hurricanes in Masterton.
According to the Rugby365 website
, the former Kiwi league captain played in the first half with some New Zealand media reports raving about his performance.
However, it was the Hurricanes' stern fightback, after they trailed by 16 points at one stage, that deserved the accolades.
In the more balanced reports to emerge from Masterton it is stated that Marshall wasn't the best on show.
That honour went to Blues centre George Moala, who broke the line at will, while two-try wing Tevita Li also showed his ability to beat tacklers and finish.
For the Hurricanes, Marshall's opposite, Marty Banks shone, in his first match at this level.
The Blues led 21-19 at half-time, and even led 35-19 at one stage during the second half.
The Blues start their Super Rugby campaign away to the Highlanders on February 22, while the Hurricanes tackle the Sharks in Durban that same day.Scorers:Hurricanes:
Tries: Smylie, Banks, Milner-Skudder, Gibbins, Parkes, Broadhurst
Conversions: Banks (3), TaylorBlues:
Tries: Li (2), Visinia, Willison, Takulua
Conversions: Nikoro (3), Kerr (2)Teams:Hurricanes:
15 Nehe Milner-Skudder, 14 Andre Taylor, 13 Tim Bateman, 12 Cardiff Vaega, 11 Matt Proctor, 10 Marty Banks, 9 Chris Smylie, 8 Brad Shields, 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Jack Lam, 5 James Broadhurst, 4 Mark Abbott, 3 Brendon Edmonds, 2 Joe Royal, 1 Chris Eves.
Substitutes: 16 Motu Matu'u, 17 Adrian Barone, 18 John Schwalger, 19 Mark Reddish, 20 Adam Hill, 21 Callum Gibbins, 22 Billy Guyton, 23 Beaudein Waaka, 24 Hadleigh Parkes, 25 Newton TudreuBlues:
15 Albert Nikoro, 14 Lolagi Visinia, 13 George Moala, 12 Jackson Willison, 11 Tevita Li, 10 Benji Marshall, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Peter Saili, 7 Brendon O'Connor, 6 Kane Barrett, 5 Patrick Tuipulotu, 4 Liaki Moli, 3 Ofa Tu'ungafasi, 2 James Parsons, 1 Sam Prattley
Substitutes: 16 Greg Pleasants-Tate, 17 Tom McCartney, 18 Angus Ta'avao, 19 William Lloyd, 20 Tom Murday, 21 Jordan Manihera, 22 Chris Vui, 23 Jamison Gibson-Park, 24 Sonatane Takulua, 25 Baden Kerr, 26 Matt McGahan, 27 Marty Swart.