Blues bash bumbling Bulls

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 05:53
Large matt duffie blues tackled 800

SUPER RUGBY REPORT: A Matt Duffie double helped the Blues score 31 second half points to bag a bonus point 38-14 victory over a tired-looking Bulls at Eden Park on Saturday.

Both sides needed a confidence-boosting second win for the season and with the scores locked at 7-7 after a messy first half it could have gone either way.

But once Duffie lit up the scoreboard with his first try five minutes into the second spell, the Blues found a previously unrealised composure to shut the Bulls down.

By the final whistle they had scored six tries to two to gain a valuable bonus point as well and captain James Parsons put the improvement down to lessons learned in last week's 24-33 loss to the Canterbury Crusaders.

"People spoke poorly about our forward pack and we knew what was coming tonight and we stood up. But it's a stepping stone. Just like last week gave us some confidence this will give us a little bit more," he said.

The Blues did not help themselves in the first half with a high error rate and blowing two penalty chances. The first penalty they kicked for the corner to challenge the Bulls at a lineout and lost. The second time they went for the points but Piers Francis missed from close range.

But it was a different look in the second half which started when fullback Michael Collins created the space for Duffie to score his first try by the posts.

Collins was also a central figure in the Blues' first try, three minutes into the game, when he handled twice in a passing spree down the left touchline which ended with Augustine Pulu touching down.

The Bulls gained huge amounts of territory for 50 minutes from the pinpoint accuracy of Handre Pollard's boot. One 60-metre effort in the first half led to a five-metre lineout which produced their first try to prop Lizo Gqoboka.

But as the Bulls began to tire the spaces opened up for Duffie to add his second try, followed by Ihaia West, Matt Moulds, Melani Nanai, before Rudy Paige scored the Bulls second try on the full-time.

"In the second half, we couldn't build pressure at all. We just lost the ball after one or two phases. Against these guys, they run you all over the park and you can't hold up that wall for 80 minutes," Bulls captain Adriaan Strauss said.

Man of the match: Ruan Steenkamp tackled his heart out while Trevor Nyakane and Lizo Gqoboka will be more than pleased with their time on the park as they make their presence known in all facets. Handre Pollard's tactical kicking kept the Bulls in the game during the first half. Augustine Pulu controlled the tempo brilliantly in the match while Matt Duffie displayed his strength and speed to grab two well-deserved tries. The Blues team centred around the performance of one player, Jerome Kaino. The No.8 carried strongly and put in his fair share of tackles to provide his side with some much-needed impetus.

Scorers:

For the Blues:
Tries: Pulu, Duffie 2, West, Moulds, Nanai
Cons: Francis 2, West

For the Bulls:
Tries: Gqoboka, Paige
Cons: Pollard, T Schoeman

Yellow card: Jimmy Tupou (Blues, 59 - neck roll)

Teams:

Blues: 15 Michael Collins, 14 Matt Duffie, 13 Rieko Ioane, 12 George Moala, 11 Melani Nanai, 10 Piers Francis, 9 Augustine Pulu, 8 Jerome Kaino, 7 Blake Gibson, 6 Jimmy Tupou, 5 Patrick Tuipulotu, 4 Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 James Parsons (captain), 1 Pauliasi Manu.
Replacements: 16 Matt Moulds, 17 Ofa Tu'ungafasi, 18 Sione Mafileo, 19 Akira Ioane, 20 Murphy Taramai, 21 Billy Guyton, 22 Ihaia West, 23 TJ Faiane.

Bulls: 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Travis Ismaiel, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Jamba Ulengo, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Piet van Zyl, 8 Hanro Liebenberg, 7 Nick de Jager, 6 Ruan Steenkamp, 5 Lodewyk de Jager, 4 Jason Jenkins, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1 Lizo Gqoboka.
Replacements: 16 Jaco Visagie, 17 Pierre Schoeman, 18 John-Roy Jenkinson, 19 Rudolph Snyman, 20 Jannes Kirsten, 21 Rudy Paige, 22 Tian Schoeman, 23 Burger Odendaal.

Referee: Nicholas Berry (Australia)
Assistant referees: William Houston (Australia), Nick Briant (New Zealand)
TMO: Ben Skeen (New Zealand)

Agence France-Presse

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Wed, 31 May 2017
New Zealand U20 v Scotland U20 07h00 AIA Arena
England U20 v Samoa U20 07h00 Tbilisi
South Africa U20 v France U20 09h30 Tbilisi
Ireland U20 v Italy U20 09h30 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v Georgia U20 12h00 Tbilisi
Australia U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Tbilisi
Fri, 02 June 2017
Blues v Reds 07h35 Auckland
Sat, 03 June 2017
Crusaders v Highlanders 02h35 Christchurch
Chiefs v Waratahs 05h05 Hamilton
NZ Barbarians v B&I Lions 07h35 Toll Stadium
Brumbies v Rebels 09h45 Canberra
Force v Hurricanes 11h35 Perth
Sun, 04 June 2017
Ireland U20 v Scotland U20 07h00 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v France U20 07h00 Tbilisi
New Zealand U20 v Italy U20 09h30 AIA Arena
Australia U20 v Samoa U20 09h30 Tbilisi
South Africa U20 v Georgia U20 12h00 Tbilisi
England U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Tbilisi
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 28 May 2017
Lions v Kings 54 | 10
Sat, 27 May 2017
Jaguares v Brumbies 15 | 39
Munster v Scarlets 22 | 46
Sharks v Stormers 22 | 10
Wasps v Exeter Chiefs 20 | 23
Bulls v Hurricanes 20 | 34
Rebels v Crusaders 19 | 41
Highlanders v Waratahs 44 | 28
Sunwolves v Cheetahs 7 | 47
Fri, 26 May 2017
Reds v Force 26 | 40
Blues v Chiefs 16 | 16
Sun, 21 May 2017
Waratahs v Rebels 50 | 23
Sat, 20 May 2017
Kings v Brumbies 10 | 19
Munster v Ospreys 23 | 3
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 21 | 20
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 12 5 0 7 28
Waratahs 12 4 0 8 19
Force 12 4 0 8 17
Reds 12 3 0 9 16
Rebels 12 1 1 10 8
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 13 13 0 0 59
Hurricanes 12 10 0 2 48
Highlanders 13 10 0 3 45
Chiefs 12 9 1 2 45
Blues 13 6 1 6 33
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 12 7 0 5 34
Cheetahs 13 3 0 10 16
Bulls 12 3 0 9 15
Sunwolves 12 1 0 11 7
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 13 12 0 1 56
Sharks 13 9 1 3 42
Jaguares 12 5 0 7 24
Kings 12 4 0 8 19