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Blues beat Chiefs 24-12 in Super Rugby Aotearoa

por Clifford Wight (2020-06-26)


5 years ago

HAMILTON, New Zealand (AP) - The Auckland-based Blues scored two tries in pouring rain to beat the Hamilton-based Chiefs 24-12 in a Super Rugby Aotearoa match played in front of a capacity crowd on Saturday.

The teams were rarely separated by more than a point until midway through the second half when All Blacks star Beauden Barrett, playing at fullback for the Blues, kicked a drop goal and then a penalty.

Winger Mark Telea followed up with an outstanding try to earn the Blues a fifth win in a row this season, and their first in Hamilton for nine years.

It also helped them stay unbeaten in Super Rugby Aotearoa.

"It´s pretty cool when you can look up and see the back three ranging out wide, especially in slippery conditions," Blues captain and second-rower Patrick Tuipulotu said. "I think that´s the best part of being in this Blues squad ... we can score from anywhere."

The match, played in front of 24,000 fans, featured another starring performance from Blues back-rower Hoskins Sotutu, who scored the only try of the first half.

The blockbusting No. 8 carried the ball regularly and effectively and was also a steady supplier of lineout ball.

The Chiefs dominated the first quarter, had almost constant possession but couldn´t score. They consistently used fullback Damian McKenzie as first receiver but his poor kicking and tactical misjudgments proved costly.

The Blues were heavily penalized but managed to eke out a 10-9 lead by halftime, even after losing flanker Dalton Papali´i to a yellow card immediately before the break.

The difference between the teams was Sotutu´s 14th-minute try, which came after he won a lineout to set up a series of attacking phases.

The teams were still separated by a point, 13-12 after 64 minutes, when Barrett moved up to first receiver and 188? kicked a drop goal which gave the Blues breathing space.

He added a penalty four minutes later and Telea´s 71st minute try, from a long buildup in which Tuipulotu featured prominently, ruled out any Chiefs comeback.

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