VIDEO: Blues bounce back in Tokyo

Sat, 14 Apr 2018 02:35

SUPER RUGBY REPORT: The Blues ended a month-long losing streak with a 24-10 victory against the Sunwolves in Tokyo on Saturday.


The four tries to one bonus-point triumph was only their second win of the season.

After a slow start, which saw the home team tale a 10-0 lead after the first quarter, the Blues finally got their act together.

For the next hour they dominated the game and the scoreboard - with the Ioane brother - Rieko and Akira - very prominent.

Demonstrating patience, the Blues confined their loss of last season in Tokyo to the rubbish bin of history.

Showing much more appreciation for retaining ball and building pressure through their more savvy tight forwards, the Blues did enough to claim a comfortable win which left the Sunwolves firmly at the bottom of the points table.

Lock Patrick Tuipulotu marked his 50th game for the Blues with a sin-binning for a no-arms tackle - which was also late.

The Sunwolves were all hustle and bustle and when home flyhalf Yo Tamura landed the penalty goal which seemed to lift them even higher.

Determined Blues defence was needed to restrain the momentum the Sunwolves unleashed and while they conceded no more points in Tuipulotu's absence, they were rocked at the end of the first quarter, after a strong midfield drive by lock Grant Hattingh and prop Craig Millar.

From their set-up work quick ball was produced and replacement centre Hayden Parker was able to wend his way through forward traffic on the blindside to create space on the left where centre Timothy Lafaele raced down the sideline for the opening try.

Lifting their tempo to where they felt more comfortable, the Blues had a better second quarter and some concerted work by the tight forwards set up a platform which resulted in ball being well used by Perofeta, who threw a long pass across the face of the home defence to find Hyland.

He showed impressive strength to beat tackles and get over for the Blues opening try.

On the 50-minute mark good build-up work by props Ofa Tu'ungafasi and Pauliasi Manu set up good ball and on the blindside. Fullback Michael Collins got a long ball to No.8 Akira Ioane, who wasted no time in beating two defenders as he applied the speed from his standing start. That pushed him clear and he had a straight run in for the try.

Five minutes later more power in setting up the breakdown provided more good ball and when newcomer at centre Orbyn Leger had set up a midfield ruck, more play saw flank Kara Pryor, who was again in the thick of the defensive action, threw a long pass for Papali'i who marked his arrival on the field with a powerful run which broke six tackles on his run to the goalline.

While Akira Ioane was denied a second try with seven minutes remaining, following useful ground gained as a result of Sunwolves indiscipline, a feature of the second half, they had reward moments later when more applied barging at the line by the big men saw the ball cleared for Rieko Ioane to fire another long ball for Hyland to run down the sideline for his second try.

The scorers:

For the Sunwolves:
Con: Tamura
Pen: Tamura

For the Blues:
Hyland, A Ioane, Papali'i, Hyland
Cons: Perofeta 2

Yellow card: Patrick Tuipulotu (Blues, 2 - foul play, late shoulder charge)


Sunwolves: 15 Kotaro Matsushima, 14 Semisi Masirewa, 13 Timothy Lafaele, 12 Michael Little, 11 Lomano Lava, 10 Yu Tamura, 9 Yutaka Nagare (captain), 8 Kazuki Himeno, 7 Pieter Labuschagne, 6 Yoshitaka Tokunaga, 5 Grant Hattingh, 4 James Moore, 3 Jiwon Koo, 2 Shota Horie, 1 Craig Millar.
Replacements: 16 Jaba Bregvadze, 17 Shintato Ishihara, 18 Nikoloz Khataishvili, 19 Wimpie van der Walt, 20 Willem Britz, 21 Fumaiki Tanaka, 22 Hayden Parker, 23 William Tupou.

Blues: 15 Michael Collins, 14 Jordan Hyland, 13 Orbyn Leger, 12 Rieko Ioane, 11 Matt Duffie, 10 Stephen Perofeta, 9 Jonathan Ruru, 8 Akira Ioane, 7 Kara Pryor, 6 Jimmy Tupou, 5 Josh Goodhue, 4 Patrick Tuipulotu, 3 Ofa Tu'ungafasi, 2 James Parsons (captain), 1 Pauliasi Manu.
Replacements: 16 Matt Moulds, 17 Ross Wright, 18 Mike Tamoaieta, 19 Ben Neenee, 20 Dalton Papali'i, 21 Sam Nock, 22 Bryn Gatland, 23 Thomas Faiane.

Referee: Nick Briant (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Shuhei Kubo (Japan), Tasuku Kawahara (Japan)
TMO: Minoru Fuji (Japan)

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Fri, 27 April 2018
Hurricanes v Sunwolves 07h35 Wellington
Stormers v Rebels 13h00 Newlands
Leicester Tigers v Newcastle Falcons 18h45 Welford Road
Sat, 28 April 2018
Reds v Lions 05h05 Suncorp Stadium
Blues v Jaguares 07h35 Eden Park
Brumbies v Crusaders 09h45 Canberra
Kings v Cheetahs 13h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Exeter Chiefs v Sale Sharks 14h00 Sandy Park
Worcester Warriors v Harlequins 14h00 Sixways
Gloucester v Bath 14h00 Kingsholm
Connacht v Leinster 14h05 Sportsground
Dragons v Scarlets 14h05 Rodney Parade
Bulls v Highlanders 15h15 Loftus Versfeld
Treviso v Zebre 16h00 Stadio Monigo
Cardiff Blues v Ospreys 16h35 Cardiff Arms Park
Munster v Ulster 16h35 Thomond Park
Edinburgh v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 Myreside
Sun, 29 April 2018
London Irish v Saracens 14h00 Madejski Stadium
Wasps v Northampton Saints 14h00 Ricoh Arena
Sun, 22 April 2018
Racing Metro v Munster 27 | 22
Brumbies v Jaguares 20 | 25
Sat, 21 April 2018
Ulster v Glasgow Warriors 36 | 15
Zebre v Ospreys 37 | 14
Sharks v Stormers 24 | 17
Leinster v Scarlets 38 | 16
Bulls v Rebels 28 | 10
Reds v Chiefs 12 | 36
Crusaders v Sunwolves 33 | 11
Fri, 20 April 2018
Waratahs v Lions 0 | 29
Blues v Highlanders 16 | 34
Sun, 15 April 2018
Saracens v Bath 41 | 6
London Irish v Exeter Chiefs 5 | 45
Sat, 14 April 2018
Leinster v Treviso 15 | 17
Kings v Cardiff Blues 12 | 45
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Waratahs 8 5 1 2 24
Rebels 87 4 0 4 21
Brumbies 8 3 0 5 15
Reds 8 3 0 5 13
Sunwolves 8 0 0 8 2
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 8 6 0 2 29
Hurricanes 7 6 0 1 27
Chiefs 8 6 0 2 26
Highlanders 7 5 0 2 24
Blues 8 2 0 6 12
Pool SA
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 9 6 0 3 30
Bulls 8 4 0 4 19
Sharks 9 3 1 5 18
Jaguares 9 4 0 5 16
Stormers 9 3 0 6 14