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Bonus point Blues too strong for Cheetahs

Hennie Daniller of the Cheetahs is caught by Charles Piutau

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Article Published: Saturday 22 March 2014|

The Blues recovered from their loss to the Lions last week by beating the Cheetahs 40-30 with a bonus point in Auckland on Saturday.

The result provisionally moves the Blues up to second in the New Zealand conference and into sixth place overall.

The Cheetahs however remain in last place but have a bye next week which they can use to fix their problems.

The Blues victory was not without controversy as a referee Francisco Pastrana made a decision that appeared to be "lost in translation".

The Blues were leading 16-13 when centre George Moala stretched for the goal line in the 29th minute after his attempt to score initially appeared to have been stopped short.

Argentina referee Pastrana referred the decision on the try to New Zealand television referee Glenn Newman, asking whether a double movement had occurred.

Newman responded with a long, technical reply which indicated the try should be disallowed, but Pastrana struggled to understand him and effectively over ruled the TMO and awarded the try to the Blues.

As the match progressed the Blues held off a late-charge from the Cheetahs but never got closer than within seven points of the hosts.

The win, in their first home game after a fruitless trip to South Africa, gave the Blues two wins from five matches and lifted them to sixth on the ladder although with four matches still to be played in the round.

The Blues and the bottom-placed Cheetahs have the worst defensive records in the competition and the 70 points scored was testament to the high error count by both sides.

Even when the Blues needed to shore up their defences as the Cheetahs fought back from a 30-13 deficit it was more the Cheetahs' errors than tackling by the Blues that kept the Auckland franchise ahead.

The Cheetahs reached the play offs in 2013 but have not tasted success since a second round win over the Bulls but had reason to feel aggrieved about the legality of a try by Blues centre George Moala.

The golden period for the Blues came during 10 minutes in the first half when they piled on 17 points while Cheetahs loose forward Boom Prinsloo was in the sin bin.

Prinsloo was punished as the first offender after Pastrana had warned he would take a tough line on defensive fouls after the Blues had repeatedly infringed on their own line.

Pastrana had a busy night with the whistle, and early errors from both sides resulted in Johan Goosen and Simon Hickey trading penalties to have the scores level at 6-6 before the Blues breached the Cheetahs defence for the first time.

Steven Luatua crossed after a series of forward drives only for Prinsloo to immediately score at the other end with Hickey and Goosen adding the extras to tie the score up at 13-13 after 20 minutes.

When Prinsloo was yellow-carded, Hickey landed his third penalty and converted tries by Moala and Tevita Li as the Blues pulled away to a 30-13 lead before an Elgar Watts penalty reduced the margin to 30-16 on half-time.

Moala's try was fortunate when replays indicated a double movement, but there was no doubt about Li's try after Willie le Roux failed to gather a chip kick allowing the Blues to regain possession and score unopposed.

The Cheetahs scored two long-range tries as they enjoyed the better of the second half, the first a 45-metre run by Cornal Hendricks and the second a 65-metre team effort finished by Hennie Daniller, both converted by Watts.

However, the Blues were able to stay in front with a try to prop Tony Woodcock and a further penalty and conversion to Hickey.

Final Score Blues 40 (30) Cheetahs 30 (16)


Tries - S.Luatua. G.Moala, T. Li, T. Woodcock
Pen - S.Hickey 4
Con - S.Hickey 4
Drop -
Cards -

Tries -  B. Prinsloo, C. Hendricks, H.Daniller
Pen - J.Goosen 2, E.Watts
Con - J.Goosen, E.Watts 2
Drop -
Cards - B.Prinsloo (25th min yellow)

Match Officials
Francisco Pastrana
Assistant Ref 1:Garratt Williamson
Assistant Ref 2:Shane McDermott
TMO : Glenn Newman



15. Charles Piutau,14. Frank Halai,13. George Moala,12. Jackson Willison,11. Tevita Li,10. Simon Hickey,9. Piri Weepu,8. Peter Saili,7. Luke Braid,6. Steven Luatua,5. Tom Donnelly,4. Liaki Moli,3. Charlie Faumuina,2. James Parsons,1. Tony Woodcock

Replacements : 16. Tom McCartney,17. Angus Ta'avao,18. Ofa Tu'ungafasi,19. Jerome Kaino,20. Hayden Triggs,21. Bryn Hall,22. Ma'a Nonu,23. Benji Marshall


1 Caylib Oosthuizen ,2 Adriaan Strauss (c ) ,3 Maks van Dyk ,4 Lodewyk de Jager ,5Francois Uys ,6 Boom Prinsloo ,7 Jean Cook ,8 Philip van der Walt ,9 Sarel Pretorius ,10 Johan Goosen ,11 Hennie Daniller ,12 Ryno Benjamin ,13 Johann Sadie ,14 Cornal Hendricks ,15 Willie le Roux (vc)

Replacements: 16. Ryno Barnes ,17. Trevor Nyakane ,18. Rossouw de Klerk ,19. Andries Ferreira ,20. Lappies Labuschagne ,21. Shaun Venter ,22. Elgar Watts ,23. Howard Mnisi

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