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    Blues thump Cheetahs in Auckland try-fest

    2017-05-12 11:21

    Lloyd Burnard - Sport24

    Cape Town - Another woeful Cheetahs defensive effort saw them leak eight tries as they were thumped 50-32 by the Blues in Auckland on Friday. 

    The Cheetahs again looked dangerous on attack and grabbed an early lead through a Francois Venter try, but they could not grab a hold on proceedings due to an all-too-familiar inability to defend. 

    Their exits, too, left a lot to be desired as they tried to run out their own 22m area and were punished. 

    The Blues scored their first try through Rieko Iaone to grab a 7-5 lead, but a strong Cheetahs rolling maul then gave the visitors the upper hand once more when hooker Torsten van Jaarsveld got up with the ball. 

    At that stage, the Cheetahs needed a bit of composure. Instead, they allowed the Blues back in immediately when they didn't clear their lines from deep inside their own territory. 

    The Blues enforced the turnover and lock Scott Scrafton barged over from the resulting attacking lineout, putting his side 14-12 up. 

    The Cheetahs would concede another five tries before they scored another one of their own. 

    After just 20 minutes, the Franco Smith's men had already missed 10 tackles and that number was 17 by half time, when they went back into the hut 24-18 down thanks to two late Fred Zeilinga penalties. 

    Despite conceding four tries in the first half, the Cheetahs would have felt good about their chances at the break.

    But then three Blues tries in the first 12 minutes of the second half through Steven Luatua, Augustine Pulu and Rieko Ioane second put the game to bed. 

    The Cheetahs did show some fight, hitting back with a try from replacement hooker Elandre Huggett after another rolling maul, but there was no way back. 

    Fullback Melani Nanai finished off another slick attacking move to give the Blues their ninth, and that score brought up the half-century on what had turned into a tough night for the men from Bloemfontein.

    Huggett scored his second - again from a rolling maul - and at 50-32 the Cheetahs had at least restored an element of credibility to the scoreboard. 

    The result means that the Cheetahs have now lost eight matches in a row and they stay third in Africa Conference 1, just four points ahead of the Sunwolves. 

    The Blues, meanwhile, stay bottom of the New Zealand Conference on 31 points, despite having won six of their 11 fixtures. 

    Next week, the Cheetahs take on the Hurricanes in Wellington while the Blues are in Cape Town for a date with the Stormers. 

    Scorers:

    Blues 50 (24)

    Tries: Rieko Ioane (2), Scott Scrafton, Akira Ioane, Patrick Tuipulotu, Steven Luatua, Augustine Pulu, Melani Nanai

    Conversions: Piers Francis (2), Ihaia West (3)

    Cheetahs 32 (18)

    Tries: Francois Venter, Torsten van Jaarsveld, Elandre Huggett (2)

    Conversions: Fred Zeilinga (3)

    Penalties: Zeilinga (2)

    Teams:

    Blues

    15 Melani Nanai, 14 Declan O’Donnell, 13 George Moala, 12 TJ Faiane, 11 Rieko Ioane, 10 Piers Francis, 9 Augustine Pulu, 8 Akira Ioane, 7 Blake Gibson, 6 Steven Luatua, 5 Scott Scrafton, 4 Patrick Tuipulotu, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 James Parsons (captain), 1 Pauliasi Manu

    Substitutes: 16 Hame Faiva, 17 Alex Hodgman, 18 Ofa Tu’ungafasi, 19 Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, 20 Kara Pryor, 21 Sam Nock, 22 Ihaia West, 23 Michael Collins

    Cheetahs

    15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Francois Venter (captain), 12 William Small-Smith, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Fred Zeilinga, 9 Tian Meyer, 8 Henco Venter, 7 Oupa Mohoje, 6 Niell Jordaan, 5 Francois Uys, 4 Carl Wegner, 3 Tom Botha, 2 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 1 Charles Marais

    Substitutes: 16 Elandre Huggett, 17 Ox Nche, 18 Johan Coetzee, 19 Armandt Koster, 20 Uzair Cassiem, 21 Shaun Venter, 22 Niel Marais, 23 Clinton Swart

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    Friday, 26 May 2017
    • Blues v Chiefs, Eden Park 09:35
    • Reds v Force, Suncorp Stadium 11:45
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