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Match Report: Blues Beat Hurricanes at Eden Park

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Match Report: Blues Beat Hurricanes at Eden Park

In the second game of Super Rugby Aotearoa, the Blues took on the Hurricanes at a sold-out Eden Park. All-Black star, Beauden Barrett, made his debut against his old team as rugby fans around the world were treated to their second live game of the weekend.

 

First Half

The game began with an early spate of kicking but before long the teams settled into a fast-paced show of attacking brilliance. The Hurricanes took the lead through a Jackson Garden-Bachop penalty and attempted to pressure the Blues with their line speed. This backfired when they raced up in defence, allowing Rieko Ioane to break through a dog leg. His pass to Caleb Clarke put him away to score the opening try after effortlessly stepping inside.

With the Hurricanes not wanting to be outdone, they quickly replied with a brilliant score of their own. Spreading the ball wide they found Dane Coles on the wing 30m out and the hooker put on the gas, sprinting to the corner and finishing one-handed. This led to a comical highlight as former Hurricane, Beauden Barrett, was trapped in his ex-teammates’ try celebration.

Barrett responded by creating a try of his own, as the Blues found themselves in the opposition 22 with space to the left. As the ball reached the two-time player of the year, he popped it inside to Mark Telea who offloaded to TJ Faiane to score. Within 20 minutes the score was 14-8 and there had been three tries already.

Penalties then started to creep into the game and the Hurricanes benefited from multiple penalties in their favour. From a resulting scrum, the away side spread the ball wide and Ben Lam managed to score with relative ease. With half-time approaching, penalties punctuated play and the teams went into the break with the score finely balanced at 14-13.

 

Second Half

When play resumed there were even more penalties before Faiane saw some space in behind the Hurricanes’ defence and put a beautiful grubber through for the outstanding Dalton Papalii to score. Otere Black’s conversion put the Blues in control and they never really looked back.

Black’s composed kicking, both out of hand and off the tee, meant that the Hurricanes were punished for any penalties conceded and the score started to rack up. Before long, the Blues were 17 points ahead thanks to the boot of Black and were headed for the win.

Desperately trying to get themselves back into contention the Hurricanes threw everything at the Blues’ defence but kept making errors, costing them possession and territory. Eventually, though, they did breach the blue wall thanks to an opportunistic try from replacement scrum half, Jamie Booth.

With a losing bonus-point now within reach but time running out, the Wellington side attempted to go from their own half. The Blues, however, won their own penalty and kicked to touch in the hope of getting an attacking bonus-point. Despite some dangerous looking attacks, they failed to cross the whitewash and only a turnover denied the Hurricanes the chance to score again. With the final whistle, the Blues won their fifth game in a row. They now sit top of the Super Rugby Aotearoa table before playing the Chiefs next week.

 

We hope you enjoyed the article ‘Match Report: Blues Beat Hurricanes at Eden Park.’ What was your highlight from the Blues victory over the Hurricanes? Will the Blues win the Super Rugby Aotearoa tournament? Let us know!

 

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Eddie is currently studying for his BA in French at Bristol University. He has played rugby since a young age, playing a variety of positions in the back line. His passionate interest in sport, especially rugby, has encouraged him to transfer it to journalism, working with his university paper, Epigram, in addition to his role with Sporting Ferret.

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