Planet Rugby

Tikoirotuma sinks brave Blues

02nd June 2012 07:54

Share:

Asaeli Tikoirotuma

Four tries: Asaeli Tikoirotuma

Four tries from wing Asaeli Tikoirotuma helped the Chiefs to a thrilling 41-34 Super Rugby win over a determined Blues outfit on Saturday.

In arguably the game of the season thus far, the Chiefs outscored their hosts five tries to four that keeps them top of the tournament standings as we head into the June break.

But it so nearly ended with a draw as the never-say-die Blues managed to level the scores 34-34 with ten minutes left to play in North Harbour, until Tikoirotuma restored the Chiefs' seven-point buffer with his fourth touchdown of the match.

The win lifts the Chiefs to 58 points, keeping them seven points clear of the in-form Crusaders on the New Zealand conference standings, while the Blues suffered their 12th defeat from 14 matches.

Unfortunately, the match was punctuated by three yellow cards - two in quick succession in the first half to Blues flanker Steven Luatua and Chiefs winger Maritino Nemani for tip tackles, while Chiefs lock Michael Fitzgerald was binned in the second spell for punching.

For most of the game, the Chiefs led and the Blues responded.

The Blues led for only a short period between the 12th and 15th minutes of the first half when a try to center Francis Saili gave his side a 7-3 lead.

Tikoirotuma's first try in the 15th minute gave the Chiefs a 10-7 advantage and they held that lead to the end, though it was constantly under siege from the determined Blues who were galvanized by the return of Rene Ranger and Rudi Wulf.

The Chiefs opened a 20-10 lead after 31 minutes when Williams crashed through tight defence to score his third try of the season.

But the Blues showed the spirit that prevailed throughout the match when they struck back with a try, conversion and penalty to winger Lachie Munro to level the scores 20-20 by half-time.

The Chiefs drew away again with Tikoirorutam's second try and led 34-20 - their widest margin - when Fijian-born Tikoirotuma completed his hat-trick in the 55th minute.

But again the visitors rallied and refused to accept another loss in what has been a dismal season.

When Fitzgerald was sin-binned after a fracas with an opponent, the Blues took advantage of their numerical advantage and scored tries through Wulf and Ranger to tie the scores at 34-34.

Ranger's try was one for the highlights reel - an outstanding feat of pace and athleticism which left in his wake a long string of attempted tacklers.

But the Chiefs also showed spirit and they refused to give up hope of the victory that cemented their top placing in the tournament.

Robbie Robinson put in a perfectly weighted kick for Tikoirotuma in the 70th minute and the winger won the race to the ball to seal the match.

The scorers:

For Blues:
Tries: Munro, Saili, Wulf, Ranger
Cons: Munro 4
Pens: Munro 2

For Chiefs:
Tries: Tikoirotuma 4, Williams
Cons: Cruden 5
Pens: Cruden 2

Yellow cards: Steven Luatua (33 mins - dangerous tackle) Maritino Nemani (34 mins - dangerous tackle), Michael Fitzgerald (60 mins - foul play)

Blues: 15 Rudi Wulf, 14 Lachie Munro, 13 Francis Saili, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Rene Ranger, 10 Michael Hobbs, 9 Alby Mathewson, 8 Luke Braid (c), 7 Daniel Braid, 6 Steven Luatua, 5 Ali Williams, 4 Liaki Moli, 3 Tevita Mailau, 2 James Parsons, 1 Tony Woodcock.
Replacements: 16 Tom McCartney, 17 Angus Ta'avao, 18 Filo Paulo, 19 Peter Saili, 20 Piri Weepu, 21 Hadleigh Parkes, 22 David Raikuna.

Chiefs: 15 Robbie Robinson, 14 Maritino Nemani, 13 Jackson Willison, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 Asaeli Tikoirotuma, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 8 Kane Thompson, 7 Sam Cane, 6 Liam Messam (c), 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Michael Fitzgerald, 3 Ben Afeaki, 2 Mahonri Schwalger, 1 Sona Taumalolo.
Replacements: 16 Hika Elliot, 17 Ben Tameifuna, 18 Romana Graham, 19 Scott Waldrom, 20 Brendon Leonard, 21 Tim Nanai-Williams, 22 Lelia Masaga.

Referee: Chris Pollock (New Zealand)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 28
Bath vs HarlequinsBath vs Harlequins Preview
Saturday , November 29
Leicester Tigers vs Wasps15:00
Exeter vs Saracens16:30
Sunday , November 30
London Irish vs Gloucester13:00
London Welsh vs Northampton14:30
Newcastle Falcons vs Sale Sharks15:15
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
International Match
Saturday , November 29
Wales vs South Africa14:30
England vs Australia14:30
More International Match fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , November 28
Munster vs UlsterMunster vs Ulster Preview
Cardiff Blues vs TrevisoCardiff Blues vs Treviso Preview
Saturday , November 29
Zebre vs Edinburgh15:00
Leinster vs Ospreys17:15
Connacht vs Scarlets19:30
Sunday , November 30
Glasgow Warriors vs Dragons16:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , November 29
Toulon vs Clermont Auvergne14:45
Oyonnax vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
Lyon vs Montpellier18:30
La Rochelle vs Bayonne18:30
Castres vs Racing Metro Paris18:30
Toulouse vs Grenoble20:45
Sunday , November 30
Stade Francais vs Brive18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 23
Saracens 24 - 31 NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Report
London Welsh 5 - 26 Leicester TigersLondon Welsh vs Leicester Tigers Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Georgia 35 - 24 JapanGeorgia vs Japan Report
More International Match results
Guinness PRO12
Treviso 24 - 24 LeinsterTreviso vs Leinster Report
Edinburgh 28 - 13 Cardiff BluesEdinburgh vs Cardiff Blues Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 22
London Irish 23 - 33 BathLondon Irish vs Bath Report
Exeter 31 - 15 WaspsExeter vs Wasps Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Italy 6 - 22 South AfricaItaly vs South Africa Report
England 28 - 9 SamoaEngland vs Samoa Report
France 13 - 18 ArgentinaFrance vs Argentina Report
Wales 16 - 34 New ZealandWales vs New Zealand Report
Scotland 37 - 12 TongaScotland vs Tonga Report
Ireland 26 - 23 AustraliaIreland vs Australia Report
Romania 18 - 9 CanadaRomania vs Canada Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 21
Harlequins 12 - 16 Sale SharksHarlequins vs Sale Sharks Report
Newcastle Falcons 20 - 10 GloucesterNewcastle Falcons vs Gloucester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Fiji 20 - 14 USAFiji vs USA Report
More International Match results
Guinness PRO12
Dragons 12 - 38 MunsterDragons vs Munster Report
Ulster 25 - 16 OspreysUlster vs Ospreys Report
Connacht 43 - 3 ZebreConnacht vs Zebre Report
Scarlets 19 - 9 Glasgow WarriorsScarlets vs Glasgow Warriors Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 16
Leicester Tigers 21 - 21 SaracensLeicester Tigers vs Saracens Report
Wasps 71 - 7 London WelshWasps vs London Welsh Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Ireland 49 - 7 GeorgiaIreland vs Georgia Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 15
Sale Sharks 36 - 8 London IrishSale Sharks vs London Irish Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton830
2Exeter828
3Bath828
4Saracens825
5Leicester Tigers821