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
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 5
Northampton vs Gloucester19:45
Saturday , September 6
Saracens vs Wasps14:00
Sale vs Bath14:00
Leicester vs Newcastle15:00
London Irish vs Harlequins16:30
Sunday , September 7
London Welsh vs Exeter14:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Rugby Championship
Saturday , September 6
New Zealand vs Argentina08:35
Australia vs South Africa11:05
More Rugby Championship fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , September 5
Ospreys vs Benetton Treviso19:35
Munster vs Edinburgh19:35
Saturday , September 6
Scarlets vs Ulster14:40
Connacht vs Newport Gwent D'gons17:00
Glasgow vs Leinster17:15
Sunday , September 7
Zebre vs Cardiff Blues17:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , September 5
Montpellier vs Castres20:45
Saturday , September 6
Brive vs Toulouse14:45
Clermont Auvergne vs Racing Metro Paris17:00
Lyon vs Oyonnax18:30
Stade Francais vs Bayonne18:30
Grenoble vs La Rochelle18:30
Toulon vs Bordeaux-Begles20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , September 5
Western Province vs Eastern Province Kings19:10
Saturday , September 6
Cheetahs vs Pumas15:00
Sharks vs Griquas17:05
Blue Bulls vs Lions19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Sunday , August 31
Taranaki 41 - 3 Bay Of PlentyTaranaki vs Bay Of Plenty Report
Auckland 16 - 16 TasmanAuckland vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Top 14
Saturday , August 30
La Rochelle 37 - 25 ToulouseLa Rochelle vs Toulouse Report
Grenoble 37 - 23 Bordeaux-Begles
Oyonnax 33 - 6 Stade Francais
Castres 30 - 6 BayonneCastres vs Bayonne Report
Racing Metro Paris 17 - 10 ToulonRacing Metro Paris vs Toulon Report
Lyon 24 - 6 Brive
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Griquas 25 - 36 CheetahsGriquas vs Cheetahs Report
Eastern Province Kings 22 - 41 LionsEastern Province Kings vs Lions Report
Blue Bulls 18 - 23 Western ProvinceBlue Bulls vs Western Province Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Counties Manukau 21 - 27 Hawkes BayCounties Manukau vs Hawkes Bay Report
Southland 22 - 33 Otago
North Harbour 16 - 22 WaikatoNorth Harbour vs Waikato Report
More ITM Cup results
Top 14
Friday , August 29
Clermont Auvergne 20 - 21 MontpellierClermont Auvergne vs Montpellier Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Pumas 32 - 22 SharksPumas vs Sharks Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Wellington 21 - 27 ManawatuWellington vs Manawatu Report
Thursday , August 28
Canterbury 48 - 3 NorthlandCanterbury vs Northland Report
Wednesday, August 27
Waikato 17 - 46 TaranakiWaikato vs Taranaki Report
Sunday , August 24
Manawatu 7 - 35 AucklandManawatu vs Auckland Report
Bay Of Plenty 27 - 56 TasmanBay Of Plenty vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 23
New Zealand 51 - 20 AustraliaNew Zealand vs Australia Report
Argentina 31 - 33 South AfricaArgentina vs South Africa Report
More Rugby Championship results
Top 14
Brive 6 - 21 Clermont AuvergneBrive vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Bayonne 38 - 12 Oyonnax
More Top 14 results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath00
2Exeter00
3Gloucester00
4Harlequins00
5Leicester Tigers00