VIDEO: Telea hat-trick helps Blues overpower Waratahs
SUPER RUGBY REPORT: Wing Mark Telea scored a hat-trick as the Blues beat the Waratahs 32-12 in Newcastle on Saturday.
It was a miserable night in Newcastle up the coast from Sydney. The match was played at the McDonald Jones Stadium, a handsome, colourful ground, dappled with a few spectators – possibly even fewer than there were to watch the Sharks play the Highlanders in Dunedin.
The rugby suited the occasion. Mark Telea apart, it was lacklustre and unworthy of Super Rugby. Or was it unworthy? Certainly, coming after the match between the Chiefs and the Crusaders in Hamilton, this was a case of after the Lord Mayor’s show.
The Waratahs of Sydney had the better of possession and territory in this match and yet were thumped 32-12 by the Blues of Auckland. Even if the scored slightly flattered the Blues, the Waratahs were poor and owe their fans, Australia and Super Rugby an apology.
Three things were obviously bad for the Waratahs – conceding penalties, suffering in the scrums and woeful tackling when it really counted.
The Waratahs were OK in the first half which ended with them 8-7 behind after enjoying over 60% of possession, but after five minutes at the start of the second half, they were down 20-7.
The Waratahs attacked first; the Blues scored first. The Waratahs had a five-metre lineout and mauled unsuccessfully, turning the ball over for a scrum in which they were penalised. A quick succession of penalties set the Blues attacking and flank Blake Gibson forced his way over for a try. 5-0 after 10 minutes.
From a scrum the Blues went wide and back. The Waratahs were penalised, and Stephen Perofeta made it 8-0 after 25 minutes.
Just before half time a free kick and two penalties gave the Waratahs a penalty seven metres from the Blues’ line. They mauled and bashed and then went wide left where a beautiful pass by Kurtley Beale sent Lalakai Foketi over. 8-7 after 38 minutes.
In the first five minutes of the second half, the Blues scored 12 points, and they were set fair for victory.
First, from the kick-off, the went though phases and went wide left to England international Joe Marchant who ran past two defenders to score. 15-7 after 42 minutes.
from a turnover on their right, the Blues went left and No.8 Hoskins Sotutu nudged the most delicate of grubbers into the Waratahs in-goal where muscular Mark Telea dotted down to start his hat-trick. 20-7 after 45 minutes.
That is how the score stayed for nearly 20 minutes during which the most significant even was a yellow card for Sotutu for a dangerous tackle on Karmichael Hunt. Sotutu’s absence improved the Waratahs’ scoring chances, and a pass from Jack Dempsey sent wing Mark Nawaqanitawase on an arcing dive for a try in the left corner – and a sore shoulder. 20-12 after 63 minutes.
Two tries in the last three minutes won the Blues A bonus point.
The first started when the Waratahs were on a promising attack. Dempsey burst through but Jake Gordon knocked on Dempsey’s pass straight to Matt Duffie who picked it up near his own 10-metre line and started a counterattack. The ball went out to Telea who ran 49 metres to score. 27-12.
The Waratahs kicked off and, with 80 minutes showing on the clock, there was a scrum in the Blues half on their right. They went left. Jordan Highland passed to Emoni Narawa who passed to Telea. the big win dismissed Alex Newsome and completed his hat-trick. The final whistle sounded after the missed conversion attempt. 32-12.
Man of the Match: You had to admire Michael Hooper’s effort and determination. He had the number 7 on his back but saved at fullback, led a bash on the line, popped up on the wing and outside centre and did most of his team’s tackling, but you cannot ignore the attacking force of left wing Mark Telea, playing because Rieko Ioane was injured, and a hat-trick of tries. He is our Man of the Match.
Tries: Foketi, Nawaqanitawase
Tries: Telea 3, Gibson, Marchant
Cons: Perofeta, Plummer
Yellow card: Hoskins Sotutu (Blues, 56 – foul play, dangerous tackle)
Waratahs: 15 Kurtley Beale, 14 Alex Newsome, 13 Lalakai Foketi, 12 Karmichael Hunt, 11 Mark Nawaqanitawase, 10 Will Harrison, 9 Jake Gordon, 8 Jack Dempsey, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Lachlan Swinton, 5 Rob Simmons (captain), 4 Tom Staniforth, 3 Harry Johnson-Holmes, 2 Robbie Abel, 1 Tom Robertson.
Replacements: 16 Damien Fitzpatrick, 17 Angus Bell, 18 Tetera Faulkner, 19 Ryan McCauley, 20 Jed Holloway, 21 Tepai Moeroa, 22 Mitch Short, 23 Jack Maddocks.
Blues: 15 Matt Duffie, 14 Jordan Hyland, 13 Joe Marchant, 12 Thomas Faiane, 11 Mark Telea, 10 Stephen Perofeta, 9 Jonathan Ruru, 8 Hoskins Sotutu, 7 Blake Gibson, 6 Dalton Papalii, 5 Josh Goodhue, 4 Patrick Tuipulotu (captain), 3 Sione Mafileo, 2 Kurt Eklund, 1 Karl Tu’inukuafe.
Replacements: 16 James Parsons, 17 Ezekiel Lindenmuth, 18 Ofa Tuungafasi, 19 Tom Robinson, 20 Akira Ioane, 21 Sam Nock, 22 Harry Plummer, 23 Emoni Narawa.
Referee: AJ Jacobs (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Damon Murphy (Australia), Nicholas Berry (Australia)
TMO: Ian Smith (Australia)