Blues storm home to down Hurricanes

Blues storm home to down Hurricanes

By Dhanjay Deo
Sunday 28/02/2021
[image: Super Rugby/Youtube]

The Blues overcame a rocky first half to defeat the Hurricanes 31-16 in their Super Rugby Aotearoa clash in Wellington.

The Hurricanes made too many mistakes, and the Blues proved adept at punishing them, as evidenced by the first try they scored after four minutes.

Flanker Dalton Papalii dotted down between the posts when he pounced on a botched pass as the Canes looked to run the ball out from inside their 22.

Otere Black added the extras, but the Hurricanes hit back two minutes later. Hooker, Asafo Aumua bulldozed his way over to finish a move kick-started by second five-eighth Ngani Laumape's jinking run.

The Blues ramped up the pressure as half-time neared, forcing a series of penalties which culminated in a yellow card for Canes lock James Blackwell in the 32nd minute.

A try looked inevitable, but the home team defence held strong and new skipper Ardie Savea forced the turnover to finally gain some field position.

Jordie Barrett nailed two monster penalties late in the spell to give his team an 11-7 lead at the break.

The Blues regained the lead 10 minutes after the restart, a beautifully weighted cross-kick from Black finding All Blacks winger Caleb Clarke.

The conversion took the lead to 14-11, and the Blues extended it further after ill discipline from the Hurricanes landed them with another yellow card.

With flanker Du'Plessis Kirifi on the sidelines, the Blues sprang a surprise in sending the ball out wide where Black's dummy drew the defence and sent fullback Stephen Perofeta over.

The Hurricanes came close when Ardie Savea was ruled to be held up over the line, but Aumua scored his second soon after from an earlier penalty.

Black's 76th minute penalty extended the Blues winning margin to eight points, then Rieko Ioane wrapped up the game with a 60m run down the touchline.

By: Dhanjay Source: Radio NZ

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