The Blues Development team secured a comprehensive 36-10 victory over their Chiefs counterparts last night at the Silverdale Rugby Club.
Built on an impressive defensive performance, the team crossed for six tries and were buoyed by the inclusion of five Blues players in the starting line up.
The game was slow starting with both teams camped between the 22’s as they found their feet.
After early issues at the line out, the Blues got it right to set up their first try.
Having received a penalty and sending the ball to touch for a line out, the Blues crafted an unstoppable rolling maul, with prop Fraser Armstrong coming away with a try.
The second try saw two Blues players combining for the points. Chris Noakes drew in a number of defenders as he hit the line and went to ground. Ofa Tu’ungafasi was in support and with no defence in front of him he crashed over for the points.†
Noakes converted for the 12-0 lead.
With time up in the first half the Chiefs were awarded a penalty and Damien McKenzie nailed a long range shot to close the half time margin to 12-3.
The Blues were clinical in the second half, dominating territory and putting the Chiefs under huge pressure whenever they had the ball.
An early knock on just inside the opposition half gave the Blues a scrum and the chance to roll out a set move.
From the scrum, Lolagi Visinia came in off his wing and sliced straight through the Chiefs defence and to the try line. His try was converted to give the Blues a 19-3 lead.
Youngster Dillon Wihongi scored his first points in Blues colours shortly after, at the end of some potent running from Pita Ahki and Melani Nanai, he dived over in the corner.
Late in the game the Chiefs had increased amounts of possession but ruthless work at the break down from the Blues created a number of turn overs.
One such turn over came right on their own try line and Visinia sent a thumping kick down field.†
Chasing his own kick along with Melani Nanai and Francios Marais, they put huge pressure on Chiefs winger Leroy Van Dam, charged his attempt at a clearing kick and Marais was able dive on the ball over the try line.
With just minutes left on the clock the Blues continued to pressure the Chiefs and after several drives at the line, replacement hooker Gafatasi Su’a burrowed over for his teams’ sixth try.
The visitors had the final say, with the Chiefs scoring a try right on the stroke of full time.
The final score, 36-10.
ìWe had worked pretty hard on our defence and the contact area. I thought our boys were outstanding today in those respects ñ they never really looked like breaking our line for the majority of the game,î said coach Steve Jackson.
The team will reassemble for a third match against the Chiefs in May 1st.
Blues 36 (F Armstrong, O Tu’ungafasi, L Visinia, D Wihongi, F Marais, G Su’a tries, C Noakes 2 con, D Hawkins 1 con)