Blues blow Chiefs away


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The Blues took some time to get going but once they did the Chiefs struggled to contain them. The Blues scored four tries which earned them the bonus point.

Danny Lee was the first to score a try. Troy Flavell scored a try by being in the right place at the right time. Rokocoko made a break down the wing and in the pass the ball bounced and Flavell pounced.


Rokocoko followed that up with a try of his own but replacement Ben Atiga scored the bonus point try.

The Chiefs only try came when Mils Muliaina scored in the corner from a quick tap. The Blues adapted best to experimental new rules to end a run of home defeats against the Waikato Chiefs.

The Blues were better conditioned to handle the faster pace of the game as they rebounded from an 8-11 half-time deficit to earn a bonus point victory with four tries.

It was the first time the Blues had beaten the Chiefs at home in six years but at the start it looked as though history would repeat itself.

In a match played on Eden Park where 24 hours earlier England had beaten New Zealand in a one-day cricket international, the Chiefs were in charge for the first quarter and led 6-5.

But a decisive tactical move by the Blues saw the momentum change as they abandoned raking kicks for territory and took the Chiefs on up front.

A series of bruising pick-and-goes, led by the veterans Keven Mealamu, John Afoa and Troy Flavell forced the Chiefs into an energy-sapping defensive role.

In a game played at pace with few stoppages, the constant Blues attacks had the tiring Chiefs falling off tackles, missing more than 30, and making too many handling errors.

“We figured if we could disrupt the Chiefs set piece it would go along way to our win,” Blues captain Flavell said. “We tried our best with our conditioning and I’m very happy.”


The Chiefs are notorious slow starters, last year losing their first four matches before winning eight of the remaining nine, and captain Jono Gibbes saw little change at the start of the new season.

“You’ve got to look at the facts of the game. They were more physical at the breakdown than us, they were a little bit more hungry, they got in there and dominated that collision area.

“We really just hung ourselves out at the back there at times, turned the ball over and obviously on defence missing 32 tackles that’s a horrible stat.” The score alternated throughout the first half starting with a Danny Lee try for the Blues in the third minute.

Two Stephen Donald penalties put the Chiefs in front 6-5, Nic Evans replied for the Blues then a try to Mils Muliaina put the Chiefs up 11-8 at the turn. But the second spell belonged to the Blues.

They regained the lead with Flavell scoring after a continuous five minute passage in which play twice went from one end of the field to the other.

Donald narrowed the gap to 15-14 with his third penalty before wing Joe Rokocoko and replacement back Ben Atiga scored tries from backline moves which started attacking opportunities created by a new law which requires the defensive backline to be five metres back from scrums.

The Blues now head for a three-game series in South Africa while the Chiefs host the New South Wales Waratahs next weekend.


Final Score Blues 32 Chiefs  14

(H-t: 8-11)


Tries: Danny Lee, Troy Flavell, Josevata Rokocoko, Ben Atiga.
Conversions: Nick Evans (3).
Penalty: Evans (2)

Try: Mils Muliaina.
Penalties: Stephen Donald (3)


Blues: 15 Isa Nacewa, 14 Anthony Tuitavake, 13 Isaia Toeava, 12 Benson Stanley, 11 Joe Rokocoko, 10 Nick Evans, 9 Danny Lee, 8 Nick Williams, 7 Justin Collins, 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Troy Flavell (captain), 4 Kurtis Haiu, 3 John Afoa, 2 Keven Mealamu, 1 Tony Woodcock.
Replacements: 16 Tom McCartney, 17 Nick White, 18 Anthony Boric, 19 Onosa’i Tololima-Auva’a, 20 Taniela Moa, 21 Ben Atiga, 22 Rudi Wulf.

Chiefs: 15 Mils Muliaina, 14 Sosene Anesi, 13 Richard Kahui, 12 Callum Bruce, 11 Sitiveni Sivivatu, 10 Stephen Donald, 9 Jamie Nutbrown, 8 Sione Lauaki, 7 Tanerau Latimer, 6 Liam Messam, 5 Kevin O’Neill, 4 Jono Gibbes (captain), 3 Ben Castle, 2 Tom Willis, 1 Simms Davison
Replacements: 16 Aled de Malmanche, 17 Ben May, 18 Kristian Ormsby, 19 Hayden Hopgood, 20 Brendon Leonard/David Bason, 21 Dwayne Sweeney, 22 Lelia Masaga

Referee: Lyndon Bray (New Zealand)
Touch judges: Keith Brown (New Zealand), Vinny Munro (New Zealand)
Television match official: Glenn Newman (New Zealand)
Assessor: Kim Eichmann (New Zealand)


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