Blues' experiment too good for Chiefs
SUPER RUGBY PRE-SEASON REPORT: Young gun Waimana Riedlinger-Kapa's double help Blues record an easy 45-19 win over the Chiefs in their pre-season match.
The Blues and Chiefs ventured to Te Kuite for the first time in history, as a mark of respect for the great Sir Colin Meads who passed away last year.
The match was filled with action, similar conditions to what we have become accustomed to when these two Super Rugby neighbours meet during regular season.
Chiefs were the first to break the deadlock with a converted try, however, it did not take long for the Blues' centre TJ Faiane to hit back. Newcomer Bryn Gatland converted the kick and the game was level at 7-all.
There was literally nothing separating the sides as both added an additional converted try for a 14-14 scoreline at the break.
In the second stanza, the Blues coach Tana Umaga made wholesale changes which proved to be a good decision as the men in blue took control of proceedings. They added five tries to their tally - two belonging to youngster Waimana Riedlinger-Kapa.
Chiefs managed to score one try, but it was far from enough to dent the Blues spirit, who secure the comfortable win in the end.
The win hands Blues great momentum for the upcoming season, while Chiefs new mentor Colin Cooper sure have loads of work ahead after seeing his players in action for the first time.
Tries: Faiane, Riedlinger-Kapa 2, Preston, Kiri Kiri, Renata, Papalii
Cons: Gatland 3, Kirkpatrick, Ruru.
Tries: Falcon, Nanai-Williams, Taukei'aho
Cons: Falcon 2
Blues: 15 Jordan Trainor, 14 Jordan Hyland, 13 Tamati Tua, 12 TJ Faiane, 11 Tumua Manu, 10 Bryn Gatland, 9 Sam Nock, 8 Akira Ioane, 7 Murphy Taramai, 6 Glenn Preston, 5 Jacob Pierce, 4 Josh Goodhue, 3 Mike Tamoaieta, 2 Ross Wright, 1 Alex Hodgman (captain)
Replacements - from: Jonathon Ruru, George Moala, Melani Nanai, Stephen Perofeta, Daniel Kirkpatrick, Orbyn Leger, Augustine Pulu, Harry Plummer, Tanielu Telea, Pauliasi Manu, Kurt Ekland, Marcel Renata, Jimmy Tupou, Waimana Reidling, Hoskins Sotutu, Dalton Papalii, Antonia Kiri Kiri, Jordan Olsen, Jack Straker, Gerard Cowley Tuioiti, Sione Havili.
Referee: Glen Jackson