Blues edged out by Hurricanes in warm up


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Blues head coach Pat Lam remains upbeat about his team’s pre-season progression despite suffering a narrow loss to the Hurricanes at North Harbour Stadium on Friday.

A try to Hurricanes centre Jason Kawau in the dying minutes denied an experimental Blues outfit their first pre-season victory, but Lam said there was plenty to be satisfied with.

‘I’m very pleased with the progression, there was a lot of good stuff there,’ Lam said on the Blues website.

‘The players got a chance to build on what they did last week and there are still areas we can work on.

‘That was closure for our first phase of the wider training group and with the All Blacks returning next week we’re getting closer to our competition squad. But overall I’m very pleased with the pre-season encounters to date.’

Northland’s Rene Ranger posed a constant threat to the Hurricanes defence and Lam was particularly impressed with the elusive winger’s performance.

‘Rene’s got a bit of an x-factor and he certainly showed the sort of form he’s delivered for Northland.

‘I think the way he attacks and defends shows how much he loves being out on that rugby field.’

Despite being a pre-season warm-up, the match had all the feelings of a fully fledged Super 14 game as both teams came out firing in the opening stanza with some solid defence.

In a high risk, expansive game it was the Hurricanes who were the first to draw blood with Chris Eaton diving over.

The Blues soon replied with a darting run by Tasesa Lavea finding Paul Williams who barged over to put the Blues in front, but Dane Coles gave the visitors the lead before the half, 12-7.

A blistering run by Ranger set up Williams for his second try of the game as the Blues edged ahead 14-12 in the second half, but with seven minutes to go they were unable to repel a final Hurricanes attack taking the final score to 19-14.

Final Score Blues 14 (7) Hurricanes 19 (12)


Tries – Paul Williams 2
Con – Tasesa Lavea
Pen – Jimmy Gopperth

Tries – Chris Eaton, Dane Coles, Jason Kawau
Con – Daniel Kirkpatrick, Willie Ripia

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