Blues too strong for Highlanders

Sat, 29 Mar 2014 08:17
Large bryn hall break.jpg630

The Blues scored three tries on their way to a convincing 30-12 victory over the Highlanders at Eden Park on Saturday.

The Blues scored three tries on their way to a convincing 30-12 victory over the Highlanders at Eden Park on Saturday.

It was an efficient display from the Auckland side who kept the visitors tryless to move to the top of the New Zealand conference.

The Highlanders made a strong start to the game, spending the opening exchanges camped in the Blues' 22, but the home team's defence held up well as they managed to keep the visitors out.

Instead it would be the Blues who opened the scoring when left wing George Moala made the most of a good bounce to score in the corner and put his team 7-0 up.

The Highlanders regrouped well and showed good patience as three penalties from Lima Sopoaga saw them take a 9-7 lead after the opening half-hour.

The Blues were back in front soon afterwards when flyhalf Simon Hickey slotted an easy penalty, and they stretched that advantage to 17-9 when Ma'a Nonu forced his way over the tryline after a good break from scrumhalf Bryn Hall.

The Highlanders had an opportunity to hit back just before half-time, but the Blues managed to turn them over to take their eight-point lead into the break.

The home side made a determined start to the second half, driving the Highlanders back into their 22 where Hickey was able kick another penalty, but the Highlanders struck back immediately as Sopoaga landed a long-range kick.

However, it was not long before the Blues crossed the tryline again, with fullback Charles Piutau taking a gap out wide to put his side in firm control with a 27-12 advantage.

They stretched that lead even further with another Hickey penalty, and the only question remaining in the last 20 minutes was whether the Blues would score the bonus-point try.

It was not to be, as the Highlanders held out under some serious pressure at the end, although they did not really threaten to cross the tryline themselves.

Man of the match: Blues No.8 Steven Luatua had a storming game, smashing into the opposition in both defence and attack.

The scorers:

For the Blues:
Tries:
Moala, Nonu, Piutau
Cons: Hickey 3
Pens: Hickey 3

For the Highlanders:
Pens:
Sopoaga 4

Teams:

Blues:
15 Charles Piutau, 14 Frank Halai, 13 Jackson Willison, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 George Moala, 10 Simon Hickey, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Steven Luatua, 7 Luke Braid (captain), 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Hayden Triggs, 4 Liaki Moli, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 Tom McCartney, 1 Tony Woodcock.
Replacements: 16 James Parsons, 17 Ofa Tu'ungafasi, 18 Angus Ta'avao, 19 Tom Donnelly, 20 Peter Saili, 21 Sonatane Takulua, 22 Pita Ahki, 23 Benji Marshall.
 
Highlanders: 15 Ben Smith (co-captain), 14 Richard Buckman, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Phil Burleigh, 11 Patrick Osborne, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Nasi Manu (co-captain), 7 Shane Christie, 6 Elliot Dixon, 5 Jarrad Hoeata, 4 Brad Thorn, 3 Chris King, 2 Ged Robinson, 1 Kane Hames.
Replacements: 16 Liam Coltman, 17 Craig Millar, 18 Ma'afu Fia, 19 Joe Wheeler, 20 TJ Ioane, 21 Fumiaki Tanaka, 22 Hayden Parker, 23 Shaun Treeby.
 
Referee: Steve Walsh (Australia)
Assistant referees: Nick Briant (New Zealand), Shane McDermott (New Zealand)
TMO: Ben Skeen (New Zealand)

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Mon, 20 February 2017
UKZN-Impi v Fort Hare 16h30 Durban
Tue, 21 February 2017
CUT-Ixias v Shimlas 11h00 Bloemfontein
Thu, 23 February 2017
Rebels v Blues 08h45 Melbourne
Fri, 24 February 2017
Highlanders v Chiefs 06h35 Dunedin
Reds v Sharks 09h00 Brisbane
Harlequins v Leicester Tigers 17h45 Twickenham Stoop
Edinburgh v Cardiff Blues 19h05 Myreside
Dragons v Leinster 19h30 Rodney Parade
Munster v Scarlets 19h35 Thomond Park
Sat, 25 February 2017
Sunwolves v Hurricanes 04h15 Tokyo
Crusaders v Brumbies 06h35 Christchurch
Waratahs v Force 08h45 Allianz Park
Saracens v Sale Sharks 12h45 Allianz Park
Exeter Chiefs v Newcastle Falcons 13h00 Sandy Park
Northampton Saints v Worcester Warriors 13h00 Franklin's Gardens
Cheetahs v Lions 13h05 Bloemfontein
Scotland v Wales 14h25 BT Murrayfield
Kings v Jaguares 15h15 Port Elizabeth
Ireland v France 16h50 Aviva Stadium
Stormers v Bulls 17h30 Cape Town
Sun, 26 February 2017
Bristol v Bath 11h00 Ashton Gate
Treviso v Connacht 12h30 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Wasps v Gloucester 12h30 Ricoh Arena
Zebre v Ulster 12h30 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Ospreys v Glasgow Warriors 13h05 Liberty Stadium
England v Italy 15h00 Twickenham Stadium
Mon, 27 February 2017
UCT-Ikeys v Maties 14h45 Cape Town
CUT-Ixias v UJ 16h30 Bloemfontein
Rhodes v Fort Hare 16h30 Grahamstown
CPUT v UKZN-Impi 16h30 Cape Town
UWC v TUT 16h30 Cape Town
UP-Tuks v Wits 16h30 Pretoria
Shimlas v NWU-Pukke 17h00 Bloemfontein
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 15 10 0 5 43
Waratahs 15 8 0 7 40
Rebels 15 7 0 8 31
Reds 15 3 1 11 17
Force 15 2 0 13 13
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Hurricanes 15 11 0 4 53
Highlanders 15 11 0 4 52
Chiefs 15 11 0 4 51
Crusaders 15 11 0 4 50
Blues 15 8 1 6 39
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 15 10 1 4 51
Bulls 15 9 1 5 42
Cheetahs 15 4 0 11 21
Sunwolves 15 1 1 13 9
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 14 11 0 3 52
Sharks 15 9 1 5 43
Jaguares 14 3 0 11 18
Kings 15 2 0 13 9