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 , 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