Super Rugby

Belligerent Blues scrape past winless Chiefs




The Blues beat the Chiefs 21-17 in a tough Super Rugby Aotearoa Round Seven match at Eden Park, Auckland.

Tries from Matt Duffie, Patrick Tuipulotu, and Finlay Christie was enough for the Blues to see off the Chiefs, who stayed in the game through scores from Lachlan Boshier and Solomon Alaimalo.

Beauden Barrett’s boot kept the hosts in front in a close-fought contest, kicking three conversions to keep his team ahead of the fiery Chiefs.

Damian McKenzie added two conversions and a penalty to keep the Hamilton men in the game, but it was not enough in the City of Sails.

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The victory is the Blues‘ third in four against the Chiefs and moves the Auckland team into second place on the Super Rugby Aotearoa table.

Warren Gatland’s men remain rooted to the bottom of the Super Rugby Aotearoa table with their eighth loss in 10 away games and seventh defeat in a row.

The Blues outscored the Chiefs two tries to one to lead at the break.

MacDonald’s men had the better of the first stanza as the Chiefs squandered several scoring opportunities inside the Blues’ 22.

The Blues struck early in the game when Duffie finished off a sublime move from a scrum and Tuipulotu crashed over following another attack inside the chiefs’ 22.

Super Rugby Aotearoa Round Seven Video Highlights: Blues versus Chiefs at Eden Park, Auckland

Beauden Barrett kicked both conversions as the hosts took a 14-0 lead after 16 minutes.

Boshier crashed over at the end of the first quarter after a sustained attack by the Chiefs. Damian McKenzie cut the gap to seven.

The Chiefs hit back after the interval, scoring 10 unanswered points in the third quarter.

Alaimalo raced away down the sideline after Aaron Cruden’s dummy sucked in the Blues’ defenders.

Anton Lienert-Brown’s delayed pass sent the winger away to score.

Alaimalo hurt himself when he scored, but McKenzie levelled from the sideline.

McKenzie kicked a 37-metre penalty from in front on 51 minutes to put the visitors ahead by three.

Leon MacDonald’s fought back to reclaim the lead after some good work by the halfback Christie.

The Blues powered into the opposition’s 22 before Christie darted around the side of a ruck to put his team back in front.

Barrett added the extras.

The defensive penalties killed both sides’ momentum as they looked to take control of this Kiwi derby.

The Blues had their chances but could not seal the deal early. The Chiefs kept coming, fighting for their first win of the tournament.

Gatland’s men had their chances but could not eradicate the errors as they sunk to another defeat.

Harry Plummer received his marching orders with a minute to play.

The Blues’ stubborn defence kept them in the tournament after the Crusaders’ loss to the Hurricanes.

Final Score: Blues 21 (14) Chiefs 17 (7)


Tries – Duffie, Tuipulotu, Christie
Pen –
Con – B. Barrett (3)
Drop –
Cards – Plummer (Yellow, 79′)

Tries – Boshier, Lienert-Brown
Pen – McKenzie
Con – McKenzie (2)
Drop –
Cards –

Match Officials
Referee: Brendon Pickerill
Assistant Ref 1: Ben O’Keeffe
Assistant Ref 2: Paul Williams
TMO: Mike Fraser



15 Matt Duffie, 14 Mark Telea, 13 Rieko Ioane, 12 TJ Faiane, 11 Caleb Clarke, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Finlay Christie, 8 Akira Ioane, 7 Dalton Papalii, 6 Blake Gibson, 5 Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, 4 Patrick Tuipulotu (captain), 3 Ofa Tuungafasi, 2 Kurt Eklund, 1 Alex Hodgman

Replacements: 16 Luteru Tolai, 17 Karl Tu’inukuafe, 18. Sione Mafileo, 19 Josh Goodhue, 20 Tony Lamborn, 21 Sam Nock, 22 Otere Black or Emoni Narawa, 23 Harry Plummer


15 Damian McKenzie, 14 Sean Wainui, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Alex Nankivell, 11 Solomon Alaimalo, 10 Kaleb Trask, 9 Brad Weber, 8 Pita Gus Sowakula, 7 Sam Cane (captain), 6 Lachlan Boshier, 5 Mitchell Brown, 4 Tupou Vaa’i, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Bradley Slater, 1 Reuben O’Neill

Replacements: 16 Samisoni Taukei’aho, 17 Ollie Norris, 18 Ross Geldenhuys, 19 Adam Thomson, 20 Mitchell Karpik, 21 Lisati Milo-Harris, 22 Aaron Cruden, 23 Quinn Tupaea

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