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Blues snatch win from Waratahs

09th February 2013 10:49

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Peter Saili Blues training 2012

Matchwinner: Peter Sailii

The Blues claimed their first win of the pre-season when they beat the Waratahs 40-36 in Whangarei on Saturday.

After going down 45-31 to the Reds last week, Blues coach John Kirwan and his troops were under pressure to win ahead of their Super Rugby opener against the Hurricanes on February 23 and they achieved that goal.

As the scoreline suggests this was a close affair and the Auckland-based side clinched victory through a Peter Saili try from the last play of the match.

The Blues opened the scoring in the 10th minute when Lolagi Visinia crossed over after latching onto a fine pass from Peter Saili, whose progress was halted 10 metres from the Waratahs' try-line.

Full-back Cam Crawford scored the Waratahs' first try five minutes later before Saili got his first five-pointer after the Blues drove from a line-out inside the visitors' 22.

Both sides increased the intensity in the second half and the Waratahs, in particular took the game to their hosts. The Sydneysiders' hero was Tim Kingston, who scored a hat-trick of tries.

Jed Holloway and Israel Folau, who came on at the start of the second half, also dotted down for the visitors and Waisaki Naholo, Tim Perry and Malakai Fekkitoa scored the Blues' other tries.

The Waratahs thought they had won the game when Kingston scored his third try but Saili's late heroics sealed the win for the home side.

The scorers:

For Blues:
Tries: Saili 2, Visinia, Perry, Naholo, Fekkitoa
Con: Kerr 4, Nikoro

For Waratahs:
Tries: Kingston 3, Folau, Crawford, Holloway
Con: McKibbon, Foley, Lucas

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PosTeamPPts
1Crusaders1651
2Chiefs1644
3Highlanders1642
4Hurricanes1641
5Blues1637