Super Rugby

Blues too good for blunt Hurricanes

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The Blues beat the Hurricanes 27-17 in a dull Round Six Super Rugby Aotearoa contest at Eden Park, Auckland.

A penalty try and scores from TJ Faiane and Mark Telea saw the Blues win an arm-wrestle in the City of Sails. Reed Prinsep scored the Hurricanes’ only try in the 77th-minute.

Otere Black kicked a last-gasp penalty to take away the Hurricanes‘ losing bonus point. Prinsep’s try, three minutes from time, looked to have given the visitors the point, but Black made sure they left empty-handed.

The Blues’ victory keeps Leon McDonald’s men on the tails of the Crusaders – who were upset by the Highlanders yesterday.

The loss sees the Wellington side drop into the last place on the Super Rugby Aotearoa log. It is also the fourth defeat in the last five games for the Canes against the Blues.

Jordie Barrett kicked four penalties as his team stayed in the hunt, but it was not to be.

Too many mistakes in the opposition 22, coupled with a lack of cutting edge saw Jason Holland’s side fall to another frustrating defeat.

Blues take slender halftime lead despite two Hurricanes yellow cards

The Blues led 10-9 at halftime after winning a penalty try and a 39th-minute Black penalty. Barrett kicked three first-half penalties during both yellow card periods.

Du’Plessis Kirifi (17th-minute) and Ardie Savea (32nd-minute) were both (harshly) sin-binned in the first stanza, but both yellow cards saw the Hurricanes work the clock expertly.

Kirifi saw yellow for a (dubious) dangerous cleanout and Savea (who came through the middle of the driving maul), which led to the penalty try.

The Canes, however, won both periods, netting three-point gains thanks to Barrett’s trusty long-range boot.

The Hurricanes started strong, but couldn’t make their territorial dominance count.

Kirifi went to the bin, but Barrett missed a penalty soon afterward.

Super Rugby Aotearoa Round 6 Video Highlights: Blues vs Hurricanes at Eden Park, Auckland

Gerard Cowley-Tuioti did not roll away at the ruck, which allowed the Canes to get on the board. The Blues struck after a powerful rolling maul was brought down.

Referee Brendon Pickerill went to the posts and awarded the penalty try then sent Savea to the bin.

The visitors managed the clock well during the periods that they played with 14 players. Three minutes before the break Barrett made it 7-6.

Black cancelled out the points two minutes later. It was a questionable call because the opposition had a forward in the bin, and there was only a minute before halftime.

Moreover, Barrett kept the Hurricanes within a point with another penalty goal on the stroke of halftime.

Blues pull away, scoring twice, ask Hurricanes fall away

Barrett kicked another penalty from inside his team’s half to give the Hurricanes an unlikely lead, soon after the interval.

The first real bit of quality came 11 minutes into the second half.

Stephen Perofeta slipped both Reed Prinsep and Dane Coles’ tackles, beating both forwards for pace before drawing Jordie Barrett, and sending Faiane away for the try.

Black added the extras to make it 17-12.

The game continued to be scrappy and error-strewn as both teams played the percentages. However, a piece of magic from Rieko Ioane saw the Blues extend their lead in the 65th-minute.

The hosts had the penalty advantage, so they went side-to-side, end-to-end, as they probed the Hurricanes’ defence. They eventually breached the white wall.

Rieko Ioane’s line-break took out three defenders before a well-timed floated pass, to the touchline, sent Telea away in the corner.

Black converted the sideline kick give McDonald’s men a 12-point advantage with less than 12 minutes remaining.

Prinsep crashed over at the death, but Barrett missed the wide conversion meaning the Hurricanes needed a converted try to take the game into extra time.

It was not to be because Black’s penalty – after the hooter – left Holland’s side with nothing, which is what they deserved.

Final Score: Blues 27 (10) Hurricanes 17 (9)

Scorers

Blues
Tries – Penalty Try, Faiane, Telea
Pen – Black (2)
Con – Black (2)
Drop –
Cards –

Hurricanes
Tries – Prinsep
Pen – J. Barrett (4)
Con –
Drop –
Cards – Kirifi (Yellow, 17′), A. Savea (Yellow, 32′)

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

Teams

Blues

15 Stephen Perofeta, 14 Mark Telea, 13 Rieko Ioane, 12 TJ Faiane, 11 Caleb Clarke, 10 Otere Black, 9 Sam Nock, 8 Hoskins Sotutu, 7 Dalton Papali’i, 6 Tom Robinson (captain), 5 Sam Darry, 4 Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, 3 Ofa Tu’ungafasi, 2 Luteru Tolai, 1 Karl Tu’inukuafe

Replacements: 16 Leni Apisai, 17 Alex Hodgman, 18 Nepo Laulala, 19 Josh Goodhue, 20 Akira Ioane, 21 Jonathan Ruru, 22 Harry Plummer, 23 AJ Lam

Hurricanes

15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Julian Savea, 13 Billy Proctor, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Salesi Rayasi, 10 Orbyn Leger, 9 Luke Campbell, 8 Ardie Savea (captain), 7 Du’Plessis Kirifi, 6 Reed Prinsep, 5 Scott Scrafton, 4 James Blackwell, 3 Tyrel Lomax, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Fraser Armstrong

Replacements: Ricky Riccitelli, 17 Xavier Numia, 18 Tevita Mafileo, 19 Isaia Walker-Leawere, 20 Devan Flanders, 21 Jonathan Taumateine, 22 Peter Umaga-Jensen, 23 Wes Goosen

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