The Blues struggled in their 30-17 win over the Western Force at Eden Park
In their round 5 Shop N Save Super Rugby Pacific game Leon MacDonald’s largely second-string lineup – with a half-dozen All Blacks slipping in their rest weeks – produced a scratchy performance overall, but still managed to run in four tries to three to see off the challenge of the Western Force with a degree of comfort.
The victory takes the Blues to 3-2 for the season, and 15 competition points, though their inability to take the bonus point will be a disappointment for the coaching staff. The Force drop to 2-3 and fall outside the top eight with just 8 points on the table.
With so many new faces in this Blues lineup, as injuries and All Blacks requirements forced coach Leon MacDonald to dig deep into his squad, it was always going to be a challenge for the home side to find their stride in this contest.
😮 Stop what you are doing and admire one of the greatest finishes you will ever see! Jacob Ratumaitavuki-Kneepkens take a bow.#BLUvFOR #SuperRugbyPacific pic.twitter.com/7LZgV5dEy9— Super Rugby Pacific (@SuperRugby) March 26, 2023
And with the Force battling away throughout, it is fair to say the Auckland outfit never found anything resembling top gear.
Perofeta’s presence at first five was settling for the Blues, and he was at the heart of much they did positive.
Wing Mark Telea, with a try and 116 running metres, had a solid match and it was good to see Harry Plummer, at No 12, and Zarn Sullivan, at fullback, back providing their deft touches.
In other results, the Crusaders smashed the Brumbies 35 - 17, Waratahs went down 14 - 24 to the Chiefs, Highlanders beat the Swire Shipping Fijian Drua 24-57.
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