Planet Rugby

Blues thwart 'Tahs comeback

16th April 2011 08:06

Share:

kaino blues v waratahs

Busting through: Jerome Kaino

The Blues did enough in the first half to beat the Waratahs 31-17 in a compelling Super Rugby match at Eden Park on Saturday.

In a game of two halves, the Blues looked to be home and dry after leading their trans-Tasman rivals 31-7 at half-time, with the hosts crossing over for five superb tries.

The Waratahs weren't prepared to roll over so easily after the break though and fought back admirably to keep the Blues scoreless and threaten a comeback.

However it wasn't to be as the home side held on to bag five precious points while the 'Tahs return home empty-handed.

The Blues, who enjoyed a bye last week, came into the match refreshed and they showed the benefit of the week off with an energy and intensity that the Waratahs, who were missing several key players, had no answer to.

The Blues surged towards a bonus point after an opening blast saw props John Afoa and Tevita Mailau, centre Jared Payne and winger Rene Ranger cross for tries.

Daniel Halangahu managed to cross for the shell-shocked Waratahs' first points after 30 minutes when they finally managed to build some momentum, with Kurtley Beale adding the extras.

The respite was only temporary however as the Blues continued to attack with Alby Mathewson burrowing over from a ruck. Luke McAlister banged over three conversions as the Blues went into the break with an unassailable 31-7 lead.

To the visitors credit, they kept fighting and stayed in the contest after the Blues took their foot off the gas somewhat in the second half as coach Pat Lam threw on a raft of replacements.

Drew Mitchell crossed out wide and Ryan Cross went over with 11 minutes left to give the 'Tahs some hope at two converted tries down.

But Beale managed just one from four with the boot and in the end the mountain was too big to climb, even for a consolation bonus point.

The scorers:

For Blues:
Tries: Afoa, Mailau, Payne, Ranger, Mathewson
Cons: McAlister 3

For Waratahs:
Tries: Halangahu, Mitchell, Cross
Con: Beale

Blues: 15 Isaia Toeava, 14 Joe Rokocoko, 13 Jared Payne, 12 Luke McAlister, 11 Rene Ranger, 10 Stephen Brett, 9 Alby Mathewson, 8 Peter Saili, 7 Luke Braid, 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Anthony Boric, 4 Kurtis Haiu, 3 John Afoa, 2 Keven Mealamu (c), 1 Tevita Mailau.
Replacements: 16 Tom McCartney, 17 Pauliasi Manu, 18 Filo Paulo, 19 Chris Lowrey, 20 Chris Smylie, 21 Lachie Munro, 22 Benson Stanley.

Waratahs: 15 Lachie Turner, 14 Tom Kingston, 13 Ryan Cross, 12 Daniel Halangahu, 11 Drew Mitchell, 10 Kurtley Beale, 9 Luke Burgess, 8 Ben Mowen, 7 Pat McCutcheon, 6 Dave Dennis, 5 Kane Douglas, 4 Dean Mumm (c), 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Benn Robinson.
Replacements: 16 John Ulugia, 17 Al Baxter, 18 Pat O'Connor, 19 Sitaleki Timani, 20 Chris Alcock, 21 Brendan McKibbin, 22 Sosene Anesi.

Referee: Mark Lawrence (South Africa)

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