Blues

Blues beat Hurricanes to set up tense Super 14 weekend

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The Blues held off the Hurricanes at Eden Park beating them by 19 points to 17.

 

The result means a tense 48 hours for both teams as the Blues now lie in third and the Hurricanes in second thanks to a losing bonus point.

 

The Hurricanes looked to be running away with the match after twenty minutes as Hosea Gear ran in two tries within 56 seconds of each other.


The Blues however fought their way back into the match and took the lead which they held onto despite Hurricanes pivot Willie Ripia sending over three missed drop kicks in the last three minutes.



Fullback Nick Evans kicked a penalty for the only points of the second half which lifted the Blues to victory.


Evans’ fifth goal from five attempts helped the Blues turn around a 17-16 halftime deficit and, supported by tenacious second-half defense, let them hang on for a win which sustained their slim playoff chances.


Both teams must now nervously await the outcome of other matches Saturday and Sunday to find out whether they have secured a playoff place.


The Hurricanes needed a four-try bonus point win to be sure of hosting a home semifinal but the defeat at Eden Park, in front of a crowd of 37,000, all but ended that hope and left them only clinging to a top four place.


They can yet be supplanted in the top four, as can the Blues, by the Waratahs, Sharks and Stormers.


“We’re disappointed but the one positive to come out of the match was that we didn’t give it up to them without a fight,” Hurricanes captain Rodney So’oialo said.


“We kept trying right until the 83rd minute but they were very physical and we didn’t come away with the win.”


Hurricanes winger Hosea Gear scored two tries within 53 seconds in the first half to lift his team to its one-point halftime advantage, although the Hurricanes spent most of the half stuck in its own territory.


the Blues remained dominant through the crucial first 20 minutes of the second spell and was only placed under real pressure in the last 10 minutes when the Hurricanes began to gain a steady supply of possession in their desperate hunt for victory.


Young flyhalf Willie Ripia had three attempts at a winning dropped goal in the last six minutes but all three sailed wide.


“We didn’t get the five points we wanted but we did get a very good win,” Blues captain Troy Flavell said.


“I’m very proud of that. We were a bit down in the dumps and out of it in the middle of the season but we’ve fought back very well to put ourselves in with a chance. The next 48 hours will determine whether we go any further ….”


The Blues led with Evans’ first penalty in the sixth minute but were shocked when Gear scored tries against the run of play in the 19th and 20th minutes to give the Hurricanes a 14-3 lead.


the Blues immediately hit back with a try to lock Anthony Boric, cutting the lead to 14-10, and an exchange of penalties between Evans and Piri Weepu completed the first-half scoring.


The Blues were over the Hurricanes’s line twice in the early stages of the second half, through Jerome Kaino and David Smith, but both players were held up by desperate defense.


Evans finally broke the scoring deadlock with a penalty in the 62nd minute, which gave the Blues its first lead in 44 minutes, and from them on the Blues held grimly to their two-point margin.


 

Final score Blues 19 Hurricanes 17

 

Scorers

 

Blues

Tries – Anthony Boric
Pen – Nick Evans (4)

Con – Nick Evans
Cards – Nick Williams – 30 (yellow)

 

Hurricanes

Tries – Hosea Gear (2)
Pen – Piri Weepu

Con – Piri Weepu (2)
Cards – Tamati Ellison 38 (yellow)

 

Friday May 16
Eden Park, Auckland
Referee: Bryce Lawrence (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Jonathon White (New Zealand), Ben Skeen (New Zealand)
TMO: Glenn Newman (New Zealand)
Assessor: Stuart Beissel (New Zealand)
Attendance : 37,352

 

Teams

 

Blues

 

1 – Tony Woodcock, 2 – Keven Mealamu, 3 – John Afoa, 4 – Anthony Boric, 5 – Troy Flavell (c), 6 – Jerome Kaino, 7 – Daniel Braid, 8 – Nick Williams, 9 – Taniela Moa, 10 – Isa Nacewa, 11 – Rudi Wulf, 12 – Benson Stanley, 13 – Anthony Tuitavake, 14 – David Smith, 15 – Nick Evans.

Reserves: 16 – Nick White, 17 – Bronson Murray, 18 – Kurtis Haiu, 19 – Justin Collins, 20 – Danny Lee, 21 – Isaia Toeava, 22 – Ben Atiga.

 

Hurricanes:

 

15 Tamati Ellison, 14 Hosea Gear, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ma’a Nonu, 11 Zac Guildford, 10 Willie Ripia, 9 Piri Weepu; 8 Rodney So’oialo, 7 Chris Masoe, 6 Jerry Collins, 5 Jason Eaton, 4 Jeremy Thrush, 3 Tim Fairbrother, 2 Andrew Hore, 1 John Schwalger.

 

Reserves: 16 Hikawera Elliot, 17 Jacob Ellison, 18 Craig Clarke, 19 Scott Waldrom, 20 Alby Mathewson, 21 Jimmy Gopperth, 22 Shannon Paku.

 

Super14.com

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