Super Rugby

Blues end nine match losing streak to Hurricanes

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The Blues beat the Hurricanes 15-24 to end a six year and nine match losing streak to the Wellington side at Sky stadium on Saturday.

The result is the Blues fourth win of the 2020 Super rugby season from six matches and provisionally moved them up to fifth place.


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The victory is also the Blues third straight positive result after wins over the Bulls and Stormers in South Africa.

The loss for the Hurricanes is their second in five matches and drops them to eighth place.

The Hurricanes dominated the statistics at the half way point but they only led by one point at the break.

The first of three turning points in the match came in the 46th minute when Tyrel Lomax was red carded for a tackle as his shoulder connected with the head of Blues player Stephen Perofeta.

The second came in the 67th minute when Vaea Fifita was yellow carded for a no arms tackle.

While the Blues were leading the Hurricanes lost Jordie Barrett to the sin-bin which meant they were reduced to 12 players and a penalty try was awarded after Barrett knocked the ball down as he went for an intercept

The Hurricanes were always going to struggle after losing Lomax early in the second half but the cards for Fifita and Barrett only deepened the home side’s troubles.

Akira Ioane and Mark Telea scored tries for the Blues and there were awarded a penalty try for Barrett’s knock down as the referee said there was a clear overlap. Otere Black converted two of the tries and added a penalty.

The Hurricanes points came through tries by Ben Lam and Kobus van Wyk while Jordie Barrett kicked a conversion and a penalty.

The hosts almost had the perfect start as they scored in the second minute after Ngani Laumape and Vaea Fifitahad strong carries which set Lam up for the opener.

The rest of the half was less exciting as both sides suffered with unforced errors. The Blues spent much of the half defending while the Hurricanes would have been dissapointed not to have been much further ahead.

Against the stats and flow of the game the Blues went into the lead at 5-7 in the 37th minute when Akira Ioane crashed over to score. The Hurricanes edged back into the lead almost immediately with a penalty which gave them a one point lead (8-7) lead at the break.

The second half was a much scrappier affair – especially after Lomax was told to leave the field.

The Blues went ahead on the scoreboard when Telea crossed in the corner for their second try. It was a close decison but the TMO ruled that the winger had managed to get the ball down before getting his arm on the chalk.

Even though the Blues had an extra player and despite playing without the presure of having to catch up on the scoreboard the Blues error rate mounted.

In the 63rd minute the Hurricanes managed to send Van Wyk over the tryline and with Barrett’s successful conversion the Canes edged into the lead at 15-14.

The Blues hit back with a penalty when Fifita was yellow-carded for a no-arms tackle on James Parsons.

The Blues then put the result beyond doubt just before full time when referee Mike Fraser awarded the penalty try after a deliberate knock-on by Barrett.

Blues captain Patrick Tuipulotu said that within his team there is a new feeling of determination.

“There’s certainly a difference in mood… it’s a good feeling,” he said.

“What I’m most happy with is we managed to keep our composure especially in tough times. Certainly in past years we probably wouldn’t have.”

Next week the Blues host the Lions in Auckland while the Hurricanes travel to Hamilton where they will play the Chiefs.

Final score Hurricanes 15 (8) Blues 24 (7)

Scorers

Hurricanes
Tries – B.Lam, K. van Wyk
Pen – J.Barrett
Con – J.Barret
Drop –
Cards – T.Lomax (46th min red), V.Fifita (67th min yellow). J.Barrett (74th min yellow)

Blues
Tries – A.Ioane, M.Telea, Penalty try
Pen – O.Black
Con – O.Black 2
Drop –
Cards –

Match Officials
Referee: Mike Fraser
Assistant Ref 1:Rasta Rasivhenge
Assistant Ref 2:Brendon Pickerill
TMO: Shane McDermott

Teams

Hurricanes

15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Vince Aso, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Ben Lam, 10 Fletcher Smith, 9 TJ Perenara (captain), 8 Gareth Evans, 7 Du’Plessis Kirifi, 6 Vaea Fifita, 5 Scott Scrafton, 4 Isaia Walker-Leawere, 3 Tyrel Lomax, 2 Asafo Aumua, 1 Xavier Numia

Replacements: 16 Dane Coles, 17 Pouri Rakete-Stones, 18 Alex Fidow, 19 James Blackwell, 20 Devan Flanders, 21 Jamie Booth, 22 Billy Proctor, 23 Wes Goosen

Blues

15 Stephen Perofeta, 14 Joe Marchant, 13 Rieko Ioane, 12 TJ Faiane, 11 Mark Telea, 10 Otere Black, 9 Sam Nock; 8 Akira Ioane, 7 Blake Gibson, 6 Tom Robinson, 5 Jacob Pierce, 4 Patrick Tuipulotu (c), 3 Ofa Tuungafasi, 2 Kurt Eklund, 1 Karl Tu’inukuafe.

Replacements: 16 James Parsons, 17 Ezekiel Lindenmuth, 18 Sione Mafileo, 19 Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, 20 Tony Lamborn, 21 Jonathan Ruru, 22 Harry Plummer, 23 Matt Duffie.

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