Planet Rugby

Blues on fire in Auckland

19th March 2010 06:03

Share:

Rene Ranger Blues Brumbies 2010

Storming performance: Rene Ranger

The Blues made a winning return to Eden Park on Saturday, running five tries past the Brumbies to win 39-34 in a thrilling Super 14 clash.

We expected them to run and they didn't disappoint. Two tries from Joe Rokocoko and a storming performance from Rene Ranger had the Auckland crowd in raptures as the Blues raced to victory at their first game at Eden Park this season.

The Brumbies led 16-10 at the break after a closely-fought first half, but the Blues turned on the gas early in the second period to charge ahead.

Not that it was a one-sided affair. Not by any means. The Brumbies thoroughly deserve their losing bonus point

For the second straight week it was the Brumbies pack that would get the scoreboard rolling. Off the base of a strong scrum the visitors drove at the Blues tryline with Salesi Maafu eventually crashing over after ten minutes.

Matt Giteau added the conversion before exchanging penalties with Stephen Brett, who made sure the Blues secured some points from their first visit to Brumbies territory.

The Blues closed the gap when Rokocoko scored a scintillating try. Ranger bust through the Brumbies line before popping up a brilliant offload to the flying Rocketman, who finished under the posts.

Giteau added two more penalties to give the Brumbies a 16-10 half-time lead.

The Blues started the second period with a bang, scoring two tries in the space of six minutes.

Ranger had the crowd on their feet again with a storming run, using his power and pace to touch down. The big centre was at the origin of the next try too, counter attacking from deep to put Blues on the front foot. Isaia Toeava found Benson Stanley out wide and the centre burnt up the touchline to finish.

Giteau replied with another penalty, but the Blues had their tails up and when Brett found Rokocoko out wide with a pin-point cross field kick-pass, the wing was all alone to score his second and the Blues' fourth.

Again Giteau replied with three points from the tee, only to see the Blues cross the whitewash again. After the Brumbies had fluffed the restart, Brett found Toeava on his inside, the full-back ran a great line and pinned his ears back to fly over.

Brett's conversion made the score 36-22 before the Brumbies struck back with replacement hooker Huia Edmonds bashing his way over from short range.

The Brumbies continued their fightback in the dying minutes as replacement scrum-half Patrick Phibbs sprinted 80m to score after Rocky Elsom broke clear. Giteau's conversion closed the gap to just two points and set up a grandstand finish.

The home side would have the last laugh however, the blue-clad pack bashed their way forward to set up Brett for the drop goal. The fly-half made no mistake, sending the ball between the sticks with just a minute left on the clock to secure victory.

Man of the match: A mention must go to Keven Mealamu, who lead his team by example as he won his 100th Super Rugby cap, but our gong goes to Rene Ranger. He scored a brilliant try, created another and set up a third - what a game!

The scorers

For the Blues:
Tries:
Rokocoko 2, Ranger, Stanley, Toeava
Cons: Brett 4
Pen: Brett
Drop: Brett

For the Brumbies:
Tries:
Maafu, Edmonds, Phibbs
Con: Giteau
Pens: Giteau 5

The teams:

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

Brumbies: 15 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 14 Pat McCabe, 13 Tyrone Smith, 12 Christian Lealiifano, 11 Francis Fainifo, 10 Matt Giteau, 9 Josh Valentine, 8 Stephen Hoiles, 7 George Smith, 6 Rocky Elsom, 5 Mark Chisholm, 4 Ben Hand, 3 Salesi Maafu, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Ben Alexander.
Replacements: 16 Huia Edmonds, 17 Jerry Yanuyanutawa, 18 Justin Harrison, 19 Mitchell Chapman, 20 Patrick Phibbs, 21 Matt Toomua, 22 Andrew Smith.

Referee: Mark Lawrence (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Garratt Williamson (New Zealand), Matthew Stanish (New Zealand)
TMO: Glenn Newman (New Zealand)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
International Match
Saturday , November 1
Barbarians vs Australia14:30
USA vs New Zealand20:50
More International Match fixtures
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sunday , October 26
Clermont Auvergne vs Sale SharksClermont Auvergne vs Sale Sharks Preview
Castres vs LeinsterCastres vs Leinster Preview
Wasps vs HarlequinsWasps vs Harlequins Preview
Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 92Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 92 Preview
More European Rugby Champions Cup fixtures
LV= Cup
Saturday , November 1
Sale Sharks vs Wasps14:00
Exeter vs Gloucester15:00
Bath vs London Welsh15:00
London Irish vs Leicester15:00
Northampton vs Newcastle16:00
More LV= Cup fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , October 31
Leinster vs Edinburgh19:35
Ospreys vs Connacht19:35
Glasgow vs Benetton Treviso19:35
Saturday , November 1
Cardiff Blues vs Munster17:15
Scarlets vs Zebre18:00
Ulster vs Newport Gwent D'gons19:35
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , November 1
Lyon vs Toulouse14:45
Racing Metro Paris vs Oyonnax18:30
La Rochelle vs Montpellier18:30
Brive vs Castres18:30
Stade Francais vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
Bayonne vs Clermont Auvergne20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Saturday , October 25
Ulster 13 - 23 ToulonUlster vs Toulon Report
Bath 19 - 21 ToulouseBath vs Toulouse Report
Montpellier 13 - 15 GlasgowMontpellier vs Glasgow Report
Northampton 34 - 6 OspreysNorthampton vs Ospreys Report
Scarlets 15 - 3 LeicesterScarlets vs Leicester Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Rovigo 18 - 33 Cardiff Blues
Oyonnax 15 - 25 Gloucester
Exeter 33 - 13 Connacht
Bucuresti 9 - 13 Stade Francais
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
Currie Cup
Western Province 19 - 16 LionsWestern Province vs Lions Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Taranaki 36 - 32 TasmanTaranaki vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday , October 24
Munster 14 - 3 SaracensMunster vs Saracens Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Grenoble 15 - 25 London Irish
La Rochelle 25 - 13 Bayonne
Newport Gwent D'gons 26 - 30 Newcastle
Brive 21 - 26 Zebre
Edinburgh 25 - 17 LOU Rugby
Thursday , October 23
London Welsh 20 - 52 Bordeaux-BeglesLondon Welsh vs Bordeaux-Begles Report
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sunday , October 19
Ospreys 42 - 7 Benetton TrevisoOspreys vs Benetton Treviso Report
Toulouse 30 - 23 MontpellierToulouse vs Montpellier Report
Toulon 28 - 18 ScarletsToulon vs Scarlets Report
Leinster 25 - 20 WaspsLeinster vs Wasps Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
London Irish 70 - 14 RovigoLondon Irish vs Rovigo Report
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
International Match
Saturday , October 18
Australia 28 - 29 New ZealandAustralia vs New Zealand Report
More International Match results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sale Sharks 26 - 27 MunsterSale Sharks vs Munster Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton625
2Saracens622
3Exeter620
4Bath620
5Wasps615