All Blacks wing powers Blues to crucial win over Hurricanes to go top of Super Rugby Pacific

Dylan Coetzee
Mark Tele'a on the charge for the Blues.

Mark Tele'a on the charge for the Blues.

Blues star Mark Tele’a was at his elusive best yet again for the Aucklanders, who go top of the table thanks to a 31-27 win over the Hurricanes at home.

Tele’a was one of four Blues try-scorers with Bryce Heem, Cole Forbes and Angus Ta’avao all crossing the whitewash. Fly-half Harry Plummer kicked four conversions and a penalty on the night.

The Hurricanes also managed four tries through Brad Shields, Josh Moorby and Peter Lakai while veteran TJ Perenara extended his try-scoring record in the competition. Jordie Barrett added two conversions and a penalty for the Wellington side.

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It was the Blues who were first on the scoresheet through the hard-running Heem, who scored after just four minutes with Plummer making no mistake from the tee. The Hurricanes did not wait around and responded through their veteran flank Shields just four minutes later with an unconverted try.

The scoreboard would not be troubled for quite some time as the next points in the game only came in the 36th minute through a Forbes try that was once again converted. Typical to this clash it would not take long for the Hurricanes to respond as Moorby crossed on the stroke of half-time.

The Hurricanes got the better start in the second period as Lakai scored after just six minutes with Barrett adding the extras on this occasion. That was before Tele’a managed to get over the line in the 53rd minute for a converted effort.

Barrett would add three points from the tee to keep his side close but that would be quickly cancelled out by Ta’avao’s try in the 64th minute.

The legendary Perenara was on hand to score the final try of the game just four minutes later as the scores got tight. But Plummer would have the final say of the match as his 76th-minute penalty was enough to power the Blues to the top of the table.

The teams

Blues: 15 Zarn Sullivan, 14 Mark Tele’a, 13 AJ Lam, 12 Bryce Heem, 11 Caleb Clarke, 10 Harry Plummer, 9 Taufa Funaki, 8 Hoskins Sotutu, 7 Dalton Papali’i, 6 Akira Ioane, 5 Sam Darry, 4 Patrick Tuipulotu (c), 3 Marcel Renata, 2 Ricky Riccitelli, 1 Ofa Tu’ungafasi
Replacements: 16 Kurt Eklund, 17 Joshua Fusitu’a, 18 Angus Ta’avao, 19 Josh Beehre, 20 Adrian Choat, 21 Sam Nock, 22 Corey Evans, 23 Cole Forbes

Hurricanes: 15 Ruben Love, 14 Josh Moorby, 13 Billy Proctor, 12 Jordie Barrett, 11 Kini Naholo, 10 Brett Cameron, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Brayden Iose, 7 Peter Lakai, 6 Brad Shields (c), 5 Isaia Walker-Leawere, 4 Caleb Delany, 3 Tyrel Lomax, 2 Kianu Kereru-Symes, 1 Xavier Numia
Replacements: 16 Raymond Tuputupu, 17 Pouri Rakete-Stones, 18 Pasilio Tosi, 19 Justin Sangster, 20 Devan Flanders, 21 Du’Plessis Kirifi, 22 Richard Judd, 23 Bailyn Sullivan

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