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Rieko Ioane at the double as Blues maul listless Lions

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The Blues mauled the listless Lions 43-10 to go top of the Super Rugby standings after another sublime performance at Eden Park, Auckland.

Rieko Ioane grabbed a brace as the resurgent Blues ran riot, scoring six tries in their bonus-point victory at their iconic home rugby stadium in the City of Sails.

The fifth win on the trot against South African opposition puts the Auckland team top of the Super Rugby log, although, the Sharks, Brumbies and Crusaders are still to play.

Such was the Blues’ dominance they had 494 run-metres to 195, and most of the visitor’s run-metres came from a couple of second-half attacks when the game was already long gone.

Ioane had a magnificent match, scoring twice on 11 runs for 60 metres while beating three Lions defenders.

The 22-year-old’s transition from wing to outside centre is paying dividends for Leon MacDonald’s re-emerging side

Mark Talea was fantastic, too.

He caused the Lions all manner of problems, which they could not handle, finishing the game with 85 metres, beating 11 defenders with 14 carries and four clean breaks in the first stanza.

The victory was not down to just the Blues clinical attacking display; the Kiwis only missed 10 tackles while the opposition shipped 31 tackles.

Stephen Perofeta scored before a penalty-try increased the home team’s lead at the interval.

Ioane scored soon after the restart before Gerard Cowley-Tuioti and Hoskins Sotutu also crossed for the Blues after sweeping attacks between backs and forwards.

Blues dominate first-half but Lions stay in the hunt

The Blues took a deserved 12-point halftime lead after tries from Ioane, Perofeta and the automatic seven points gave the Auckland side a 22-10 lead.

Elton Jantjies converted Dan Kriel’s 16th-minute score and added a penalty to close the gap before Ruan Vermaak’s yellow card led to the Blues being awarded a late penalty try.

It was another disappointing display by the Lions, who look anything but a happy team. Jantjies’ pep-talk behind the posts summed up his side’s willingness to compete.

Instead of listening to their skipper, the visitors crumbled to another embarrassing defeat.

The Blues racked up the forty-burger while keeping the Johannesburg side scoreless in the second half to cap a sublime performance by the New Zealanders.

The tour from hell continues for the beleaguered South African franchise.

Blues take a strong advantage into the break as Ioane and Mark Talea run riot

Ioane opened the scoring after Jantjies missed a third-minute penalty; however, his fellow winger had a superb half.

The Lions hit back, taking the lead through Kriel after a brutal 12-phase attack inside the Blues 22m.

But some poor work at the breakdown saw Perofeta score to extend the home team’s lead.

Willem Alberts lost possession at a midfield ruck following a deep counter-attack by the Lions after the South Africans won a turnover.

Black’s conversion opened up a two-score lead, but a 35th-minute Jantjies penalty made it 15-10.

But the game got away from Ivan van Rooyen’s side when Vermaak was yellow-carded for being an offside and cynical play, deliberately knocking down the ball when the Blues had numbers out wide.

Referee Marius van der Westhuizen consulted the TMO and deemed the offence worthy of a card and penalty try.

Vermaak’s yellow card causes the Lions to wilt after Blues’ blitz

The Blues took full advantage of the loose-forward’s sin-binning, scoring two more tries after the break while the flanker sat and watched from the naughty step.

Vermaak’s card cost his side 21 points and, ultimately, the match.

Ioane crossed soon after halftime before Cowley-Tuioti finished off a sweeping move to make it 34-10 on 49 minutes to bring up the bonus-point.

Ioane had his second after a strong run from Sotutu – who was a power-house – carrying defenders over the line with him.

Super Rugby Video Highlights: Blues versus Lions, Eden Park, Auckland

Cowley-Tuioti’s try came from some wonderful interplay between the backs and forwards.

Black’s third conversion meant the game was effectively over as a contest.

The Lions went close, but Jantjies botched a five-on-three five metre’s from the Blues’ try-line.

Sotutu got in on the act.

The powerful number eight took Matt Duffie’s delayed offload to get a score on 63 minutes following Sam Knock’s weaving run into the opposition’s 22.

Duffie drew two defenders before sending the waltzing Sotutu away.

The Blues took their foot off the gas but continued to be defensively sound as they kept the Lions scoreless in the second stanza.

Van Rooyen’s side drops to second-bottom in the overall standing with their fifth defeat of the season, which is now over.

Final Score: Blues 43 (22) Lions 10 (10)

Scorers

Blues
Tries – R. Ioane (2), Perofeta, Penalty try, Cowley-Tuioti, Sotutu
Pen – Black
Con – Black (3), Plummer
Drop –
Cards –

Lions
Tries – Kriel
Pen – Jantjies
Con – Jantjies
Drop –
Cards – Vermaak (Yellow, 39′)

Match Officials
Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen
Assistant Ref 1: Jaco Peyper
Assistant Ref 2: Ben O’Keeffe
TMO: Glenn Newman

Teams

Blues

Head Coach: Leon MacDonald

15 Stephen Perofeta, 14 Matt Duffie, 13 Rieko Ioane, 12 TJ Faiane (captain), 11 Mark Telea, 10 Otere Black, 9 Sam Nock, 8 Hoskins Sotutu, 7 Blake Gibson, 6 Dalton Papalii, 5 Jacob Pierce, 4 Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, 3 Sione Mafileo, 2 James Parsons, 1 Karl Tu’inukuafe.

Replacements: 16 Luteru Tolai, 17 Joe Walsh, 18 Marcel Renata, 19 Aaron Carroll, 20 Akira Ioane, 21 Jonathan Ruru, 22 Harry Plummer, 23 Emoni Narawa.

Lions

Head Coach: Ivan van Rooyen

15 Tyrone Green, 14 Jamba Ulengo, 13 Manuel Rass 12 Daniel Kriel, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies (captain), 9 Andre Warner, 8 Hacjivah Dayimani, 7 Ruan Vermaak, 6 Marnus Schoeman, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Willem Alberts, 3 Frans van Wyk, 2 Jan-Henning Campher, 1 Dylan Smith.

Replacements: 16 Pieter Jansen, 17 Sithembiso Sithole, 18 Carlu Sadie 19 Wilhelm van der Sluys, 20 Len Massyn, 21 Morné van den Berg, 22 Shaun Reynolds, 23 Andries Coetzee.

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