Blues storm wet Ballymore

27th Feb 2010, 10:51

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Crucial score: Alby Mathewson

Crucial score: Alby Mathewson

The Blues put in a convincing performance to come from behind to beat the Reds 27-18 in a tight game at a very wet Ballymore on Saturday.

The Blues put in a convincing performance to come from behind to beat the Reds 27-18 in a tight game at a very wet Ballymore on Saturday.

Despite the torrid conditions, the protagonists produced an entertaining match as the Super 14 returned to Ballymore for the first time in four years.

After trailing 13-8 at the break, the visitors' played the cagier second half and scored at all the right times as their pack took a grip on the game and secure the bonus point.

One must feel for the Reds who, were in with a shout for 80th-minute conversion denied the hosts a losing bonus point.

The Reds couldn't have asked for a better start as new skipper Will Genia scored inside the first minute after Stephen Brett chipped the ball straight at him and the scrum-half turned on the gas to race away for the intercept try.

Quade Cooper added a penalty to his conversion before Brett found the mark from the kicking tee to see the Reds lead 10-3 at the end of the first quarter.

Rene Ranger got the visitors back in touch on the half-hour mark with a storming try. The Blues centre had made a hash of a golden opportunity a few minutes early but he made amends by stepping past four defenders and then muscling his way past four more to score in the corner.

Brett sent his conversion from the touchline wide but Cooper had no such problems with a long range penalty a few minutes later to give the Reds a 13-8 lead at half time.

The Blues pack put their team in front soon after the break with Anthony Boric standing up last from a pile of bodies after the visitors drove their way over the line.

The Blues had taken a strangle hold on the game and were getting the better tight exchanges in the wet.

Some more poor defending from the home side saw them concede another soft try when Blues scrum-half Alby Mathewson slipped around the back of a line-out and burst clear to score untouched and open the gap to seven points.

The Reds burst back into contention however with a pushover try for tighthead Laurie Weeks with twenty minutes to go.

Cooper's conversion would have leveled the game, but for once his boot let the Reds down.

The excitement was far from over as both Will Chambers and Mathewson were denied tries by inches in the dying minutes.

The grandstand finish would go the wrong way for the brave Ballymore crowd however as Rudi Wulf touched down in the corner and replacement kicker Lachie Munro slotted the conversion from the touchline to leave the Reds empty handed.

Man of the match: Will Genia deserves a mention for an eye-catching display but the in the end, it was the Blues pack and their backrow in particular that made the difference. So we'll go for Jerome Kaino, who was omnipresent.

The scorers

For the Reds:
Tries:
Genia, Weeks
Con: Cooper
Pens: Cooper 2

For the Blues:
Tries:
Ranger, Boric, Mathewson, WulfCons: Brett, MunroPen: Brett

Blues: 15 Paul Williams, 14 Joe Rokocoko, 13 Rene Ranger, 12 Benson Stanley, 11 Rudi Wulf, 10 Stephen Brett, 9 Alby Mathewson, 8 Peter Saili, 7 Serge Lilo, 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Anthony Boric, 4 Kurtis Haiu, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 Keven Mealamu (c), 1 John Afoa.
Replacements: 16 Tom McCartney, 17 Tony Woodcock, 18 Filo Paulo, 19 Viliami Ma'afu, 20 Chris Smylie, 21 Daniel Kirkpatrick, 22 Lachie Munro.

Reds: 15 Peter Hynes, 14 Digby Ioane, 13 Morgan Turinui, 12 Anthony Faingaa, 11 Rod Davies, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia (captain), 8 Scott Higginbotham, 7 Daniel Braid, 6 Jake Schatz, 5 Van Humphries, 4 Adam Byrnes, 3 Laurie Weeks, 2 Saia Faingaa, 1 Ben Daley.
Replacements: 16 Sean Hardman, 17 Greg Holmes, 18 Rob Simmons, 19 Leroy Houston, 20 Richard Kingi, 21 Tim Walsh, 22 Will Chambers.

Venue: Ballymore, Brisbane
Referee: Steve Walsh (Australia)