Blues bench edge plucky Force

Sat, 01 Apr 2017 03:49
Large akira ioane blues tackled 800

SUPER RUGBY REPORT: The Blues' replacements made a massive second half impact to see off the Force 24-15 in an error-riddled, stop-start affair.

 

While Isi Naisarani was off the field, after receiving a yellow card, the Blues scored two tries and piled on 12 points with the Force ultimately losing by nine.

As the Blues banked their third win from six matches, it lifted them off the bottom of the New Zealand conference and extended New Zealand's dominance over Australian sides to 8-0 this season.

Force captain Matt Hodgson said the yellow card proved very costly.

"We lost a player to the bin and they scored two tries and they got some momentum there. There were some lapses in defence and they scored three long range tries," he said.

Blues captain James Parsons readily conceded it was not a great performance by his side.

"We didn't execute well out of our own half. We'll enjoy the win but we've got plenty to work on," Parsons said.

The Force, who yielded 45 points to the Crusaders last week and are battling to show they deserve to remain in a trimmed down competition, controlled the first 20 minutes.

They exploited holes around the Blues' ruck, and with a Jono Lance penalty and a Richie Arnold try, when the big lock drove over from close range, they were 8-0 ahead with the Blues struggling to get their game under way.

But the match turned when No.8 Naisarani was sent to the sin bin for not retreating when the Blues took a tap penalty in the shadow the posts.

While the Force were reduced to 14 men, the Blues scored a try to replacement loose forward Akira Ioane and one to wing Matt Duffie who finished off a 70-metre counter-attack sparked by George Moala.

With Piers Frances converting Ioane's try the Blues turned with a 12-8 lead.

In a ragged second half, the Force restored to their full complement of players, pressured the try-line only to lose the ball and see the Blues reply with long-range tries finished off by Rieko Ioane and Michael Collins.

With time almost up, the Force managed to score a Dane Haylett-Petty try to deny the Blues a bonus point.

Man of the match: Richie Arnold had a strong game for the Force while Billy Meakes showed his experience in running the backline. Marcel Brache had some strong carries and put in good work on defence. Dane Haylett-Petty had a steady game, despite not having plenty of chances. Piers Francis had a steady outing while Ihaia West brought something different when they switched places. George Moala was a threat with each carry while Matt Duffie put in another splendid performance. Our award goes to Akira Ioane, who made a massive impact off the bench to physically impose himself at the breakdowns and handing the Blues the edge in the second half.

Scorers:

For the Blues:
Tries: A Ioane, Duffie, R Ioane, Collins
Cons: Francis, West

For the Force:
Tries: Arnold, D Haylett-Petty
Con: Prior
Pen: Lance

Yellow card: Isi Naisarani (Force, 29 - not retreating 10 metres)

Teams:

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

Force: 15 Dane Haylett-Petty, 14 Chance Peni, 13 Marcel Brache, 12 Billy Meakes, 11 Alex Newsome, 10 Jono Lance, 9 Ryan Louwrens, 8 Isi Naisarani, 7 Matt Hodgson, 6 Ross Haylett-Petty, 5 Richie Arnold, 4 Matt Philip, 3 Tetera Faulkner, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Ben Daley.
Replacements: 16 Anaru Rangi, 17 Pek Cowan, 18 Shambeckler Vui, 19 Richard Hardwick, 20 Kane Koteka, 21 Michael Ruru, 22 Ian Prior, 23 Robbie Coleman.

Referee: Shuhei Kubo (Japan)
Assistant referees: Ben O'Keeffe (New Zealand), James Doleman (New Zealand)
TMO: Glenn Newman (New Zealand)

Agence France-Presse

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Fri, 26 May 2017
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Reds v Force 09h45 Suncorp Stadium
Sat, 27 May 2017
Sunwolves v Cheetahs 05h15 Tokyo
Highlanders v Waratahs 07h35 Dunedin
Rebels v Crusaders 09h45 Melbourne
Bulls v Hurricanes 13h05 Loftus Versfeld
Wasps v Exeter Chiefs 13h30 London
Sharks v Stormers 15h15 Kings Park
Munster v Scarlets 17h15 Dublin
Jaguares v Brumbies 21h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 28 May 2017
Lions v Kings 12h30 Ellis Park Stadium
Wed, 31 May 2017
England U20 v Samoa U20 07h00 Tbilisi
New Zealand U20 v Scotland U20 07h00 AIA Arena
South Africa U20 v France U20 09h30 Tbilisi
Ireland U20 v Italy U20 09h30 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v Georgia U20 12h00 Tbilisi
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SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 11 4 0 7 23
Waratahs 11 4 0 7 19
Reds 11 3 0 8 16
Force 11 3 0 8 13
Rebels 11 1 1 9 8
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 12 12 0 0 54
Hurricanes 11 9 0 2 43
Chiefs 11 9 0 2 43
Highlanders 12 9 0 3 41
Blues 12 6 0 6 31
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 11 7 0 4 30
Bulls 11 3 0 8 15
Cheetahs 12 2 0 10 11
Sunwolves 11 1 0 10 7
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 12 11 0 1 51
Sharks 12 8 1 3 38
Jaguares 11 5 0 6 24
Kings 11 4 0 7 19