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
Fri, 27 October 2017
Griquas v Griffons 16h30 Kimberley
Glasgow Warriors v Kings 18h35 Scotstoun Stadium
Sale Sharks v Exeter Chiefs 18h45 AJ Bell Stadium
Ospreys v Dragons 19h35 Liberty Stadium
Cardiff Blues v Munster 19h35 Sportsground
Sat, 28 October 2017
Australia v Barbarians 04h00 Sydney
Harlequins v Worcester Warriors 14h00 Twickenham
Treviso v Edinburgh 14h00 Stadio Monigo
Saracens v London Irish 14h00 Allianz Park
Northampton Saints v Wasps 14h00 Franklin's Gardens
Sharks v Western Province 14h00 Durban
Zebre v Cheetahs 16h00 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Ulster v Leinster 17h15 Kingspan Stadium
Scarlets v Cardiff Blues 18h35 Parc y Scarlets
Sun, 29 October 2017
Bath v Gloucester 14h00 Recreation Ground
Newcastle Falcons v Leicester Tigers 14h00 Kingston Park
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 15 6 0 9 34
Force 15 6 0 9 26
Reds 15 4 0 11 21
Waratahs 15 4 0 11 19
Rebels 15 1 1 13 9
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 15 14 0 1 63
Hurricanes 15 12 0 3 58
Chiefs 15 12 1 2 57
Highlanders 15 11 0 4 51
Blues 15 7 1 7 37
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 15 10 0 5 43
Cheetahs 15 4 0 11 21
Bulls 15 4 0 11 20
Sunwolves 15 2 0 13 12
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 15 14 0 1 65
Sharks 15 9 1 5 42
Jaguares 15 7 0 8 33
Kings 15 6 0 9 28