Barrett's Blues cruise past Hurricanes
SUPER RUGBY REPORT: All Blacks star Beauden Barrett had a very successful Blues debut as his new side secured a comfortable 30-20 win over Hurricanes on Sunday.
The Blues’ marque player Barrett certainly proved to be worth his value. Donning the No.15 jersey, Barrett’s presence added extra confidence and vigour to the Blues set-up.
While fans flock to see the Barrett debut, it was Otere Black who stole the show. The flyhalf added 15 points to the Blues’ tally.
*As it happened: Blues v Hurricanes
There were loads of kicking the opening minute of the match as both teams tried to take control over proceedings.
The first points of the day went the way of Hurricanes, Jackson Garden-Bachop kicked over the three-pointer after 10 minutes of play.
The Hurricanes certainly looked the better side with 60 percent possession in the opening minutes of play.
However, a laps of concentration by the Hurricanes proved to ve costly as Rieko Ioane broke through the defence before Caleb Clark dotted over the line try of the match. Black added the extras for the 7-3 lead.
Hurricanes hit back quickly courtesy of brilliant work by captain Dane Coles, who went in the corner for the try.
Just before the quarter mark, the Blues showed some amazing work and were rewarded with five-pointer thanks to centre TJ Faiane. Black added the extras for the 14-8 lead.
The Blues’ attack have certainly improved however they struggled with the new breakdown laws conceding several penalties inside their own 22. The Hurricanes took full advantage of the Blues’ faults and from the scrum, they worked the ball to wing Ben Lam, who went over in the corner for the five-pointer.
The Blues drew first blood in the second half. The hosts opted for a penalty and after numerous play a TJ Faiane kick was collected by Dalton Papalii, who went over the chalk for the try.
The Blues extended their lead with two successful penalties by Black. 27-13 after 60 minutes of play.
The Hurricanes discipline in the second half was certainly a worry the side condensed another penalty and again the Blues opted for the posts for the comfortable 30-13 lead.
With less than minutes to play, Hurricanes rallied to salvage a bonus-point and after numerous attempts eventually, James Booth powered his way over the line. Perenara added the extras to narrow the deficit to 10 points.
However, it was too little too late as the Blues did enough to hold onto the win.
Man of the match: There have been loads of great performers. For the Hurricanes Dane Coles showed why he is one of the best hookers in the world. While for the Blues, Beauden Barrett proves his value. Caleb Clark is another standout performer. However, our nod goes to Rieko Ioane, who was simply impressive and he created a couple of tries.
Tries: Clark, Fiaiane, Papalii
Cons: Black 3
Pens: Black 3
Tries: Coles, Lam, Booth
Blues: 15 Beauden Barrett, 14 Mark Telea, 13 Rieko Ioane, 12 TJ Faiane, 11 Caleb Clarke, 10 Otere Black, 9 Sam Nock; 8 Hoskins Sotutu, 7 Blake Gibson, 6 Tom Robinson, 5 Josh Goodhue, 4 Patrick Tuipulotu (captain), 3 Ofa Tu’ungafasi, 2 James Parsons, 1 Alex Hodgman.
Replacements: 16 Kurt Eklund, 17 Ezekiel Lindenmuth, 18 Marcel Renata, 19 Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, 20 Dalton Papalii, 21 Finlay Christie, 22 Harry Plummer, 23 Matt Duffie.
Hurricanes: 15 Chase Tiatia, 14 Wes Goosen, 13 Vince Aso, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Ben Lam, 10 Jackson Garden-Bachop, 9 Thomas Perenara (co-captain), 8 Gareth Evans, 7 Du’Plessis Kirifi, 6 Reed Prinsep, 5 Scott Scrafton, 4 James Blackwell, 3 Tyrel Lomax, 2 Dane Coles (co-captain), 1 Fraser Armstrong.
Replacements: 16 Asafo Aumua, 17 Tevita Mafileo, 18 Alex Fidow, 19 Isaia Walker-Leawere, 20 Vaea Fifita, 21 Ardie Savea, 22 Jamie Booth, 23 Billy Proctor.
Referee: Mike Fraser
Assistant referees: Ben O’Keeffe, James Doleman
TMO: Brendon Pickerill