Blues Development finish strongly

Blues Development finish strongly

The Blues Development team have finished their campaign with a comprehensive 43-19 victory over Japan A.
In pristine conditions at Bell Park in Pakuranga the Blues produced strong individual performances across the park with players determined to finish the campaign on a high note.
The Blues got about their work quickly, with two tries in the first five minutes.
With all the early possession, halfback Bryn Hall darted over for the first points after a solid run from the tireless Sean Polwart.
William Whetton was set up for the second try after a strong break by fullback Lolagi Visinia down the left-hand touch line.
Completely dominant in the opening spell, the Blues were able to turn over any of the ball that the Japanese did manage to find.
It was on the back of a Malakai Fekitoa break that the Blues set up their third try and after a few phases captain Joe Edwards burrowed over to extend the lead to 21-0.
Edwards had his double only 15 minutes into the game, capitalising on a Pita Ahki break to power over the try-line.
While still dominating play, the Blues let Japan into the game when a miss pass was intercepted by winger Yoshikazu Fujita who ran away for their first points of the game.
The try seemed to halt the Blues’ momentum and small errors slipped into the game. While still relentless on defence, attacking opportunities were upset by mistakes.
The Blues started the second half strongly and didn’t take long to get more points on the board.
Fekitoa danced through the Japanese defence for the Blues fifth try, taking the lead out to 33-5 with half an hour to play.
The points then dried up for the home team as Japan forced themselves into the game and began to find holes in the Blues defence.
It started with a smooth break from first five-eighths Takuya Yamasawa which put Japan in great field position. From there quick hands in the backline to speed-star Kenki Fukuoka exposed and overlap and Fukuoka was in for the try.
Japan managed to get straight back down to the try line from kick off and this time it was the forwards showing their skills. After a few hit-ups at the line it was hooker Atsushi Sakate that busted over for the try.
With Japan closing the gap on the scoreboard to 33-19 it was time for the Blues to regroup. An injury break gave them the chance to do so and when play restarted the Blues seemed revitalised.
Nepia Fox-Matamua crossed the line for a try with just 10 minutes to play and just minutes later winger Aula Silipa powered down the touch line for a five-pointer.
The final score was 43-19, ending the Blues Development campaign with four wins from five outings.
Coach Bevan Cadwallader said the game was a great way to end the campaign.
“The guys went out there and did exactly what we asked for in the first 20 minutes. It probably comes down to that youthful enthusiasm that they began to try a few things and it all dropped off,” said Cadwallader.
Despite the mid-game lull, Cadwallader said he was pleased to see the team re-adjust and finish strongly.
Blues Development 43 (J Edwards 2, B Hall, W Whetton, M Fekitoa, N Fox-Matamua, A Silipa tries, M McKenzie 4 con)
Japan A 19 (Y Fujita, K Fukuoka, A Sakate tries, 2 con)