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    Rampant Blues crush Force

    2014-06-28 15:28
    Perth - A stunning opening assault from the Blues powered them to a 40-14 win over the Western Force in their Super Rugby  clash in Perth on Saturday.

    The Blues produced some of their best rugby of the season in the opening 20 minutes to shock the Force, who were desperate to win to keep their finals hopes on track.

    However, it was the visitors that made all the play from the outset to keep their own slim playoff hopes alive and turn around their poor away form, storming to a match-winning 26-0 lead on the back of four tries in the first 18 minutes of play.

    The carnage started in just the fourth minute, when Ihaia West took advantage of a great bounce from a chip kick and ran in the opening try.

    West then backed the try with a great conversion to give the Blues the perfect start.

    The Force haven't beaten the Blues since 2008 and the New Zealanders doubled their lead in the ninth minute, when Charlie Faumuina stormed over for a try and West again converted.

    Alarm bells were sounding for the Force, who have been one of the surprise packets of the season, and they only got louder when the Blues crossed again just three minutes later, this time through the pace of Lolagi Visinia after some impressive ball movement.

    Although West missed the conversion, it didn't hurt the Blues as Ma'a Nonu added a fourth try in the 18th minute.

    The Force, missing the impact of Wallaby Nick Cummins who was a late withdrawal due to a neck injury, did create a couple of opportunities of their own in the first half.

    However, they couldn't capitalise and they were never going to recover from a 26-0 deficit at the break.

    A comeback was a forlorn hope and it became a mission impossible when the Blues pushed over under the posts in the 56th minute, with skipper Luke Braid becoming their fifth tryscorer.

    Braid said the Blues were happy to notch a rare win away from home.

    "Everyone knows we have struggled away for a year and a bit," he said.

    "It was good just to start well, we got into our rhythm."

    Force skipper Matt Hodgson said his team paid for their poor opening.

    "We missed the start and you can't give a side like the Blues a four-try start," he said.

    The Blues picked up five points for their victory and moved to fourth in the New Zealand Conference and eighth overall.

    The Force left empty-handed and remained third in the Australian Conference and seventh in the Overall standings.

    Scorers

    Force

    Tries: Nathan Charles, Brynard Stander
    Conversions: Jayden Hayward (2)

    Blues

    Tries: Ihaia West, Charlie Faumuina, Lolagi Visinia, Ma'a Nonu, Luke Baird, Pita Ahki
    Conversions: Ihaia West (5)

    Teams:

    Force

    15 Jayden Hayward, 14 Dane Haylett-Petty, 13 Marcel Brache, 12 Chris Tuatara-Morrison, 11 Nick Cummins, 10 Sias Ebersohn, 9 Alby Mathewson, 8 Ben McCalman, 7 Matt Hodgson (captain), 6 Hugh McMeniman, 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Sam Wykes, 3 Kieran Longbottom, 2 Nathan Charles, 1 Pek Cowan

    Substitutes: 16 Heath Tessmann, 17 Tetera Faulkner, 18 Oliver Hoskins, 19 Wilhelm Steenkamp, 20 Brynard Stander, 21 Ian Prior, 22 Zack Holmes, 23 Solomoni Rasolea

    Blues

    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 Steven Luatua, 5 Patrick Tuipulotu, 4 Tom Donnelly, 3 Charlie Faumuina/ Angus Ta'avao, 2 Keven Mealamu, 1 Tony Woodcock

    Substitutes: 16 James Parsons, 17 Angus Ta'avao/ Tom McCartney, 18 Ofa Tu'ungafasi, 19 Hayden Triggs, 20 Peter Saili, 21 Piri Weepu, 22 Francis Saili, 23 Tevita Li
    Read More On:  blues force super 15 rugby

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    Fixtures

    13 February 2015
    • Crusaders v Melbourne Rebels, Christchurch 08:35
    • Brumbies v Reds, Canberra 10:40
    • Lions v Hurricanes, Johannesburg 19:10
    14 February 2015
    • Blues v Chiefs, Albany 08:35
    • Sharks v Cheetahs, Durban 17:05
    • Bulls v Stormers, Pretoria 19:10
    15 February 2015
    • Waratahs v Western Force, Sydney 07:05

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