Bonus point Blues shock the Hurricanes

John Kirwan’s Blues opened their Super Rugby campaign with a 20-34 bonus point victory over the Hurricanes at the Westpac Stadium in Wellington.


The Hurricanes led the match 13-11 at half time and had a penalty try awarded to them in 15 minutes into the half but the Blues fought their way back and scored two late tries to steal the result.


Blues winger Frank Halai had an extraordinary debut match as he scored two tries but was also shown a yellow card for an infringement that saw the Hurricanes being awarded a penalty try.


John Kirwan’s Blues opened their Super Rugby campaign with a 20-31 bonus point victory over the Hurricanes at the Westpac Stadium in Wellington.


The Hurricanes led the match 13-11 at half time and had a penalty try awarded to them in 15 minutes into the half but the Blues fought their way back and scored two late tries to steal the result.


Halai scored the Blues opening try but was sent to the sin-bin in the 55th minute for an action that also conceded the penalty try that gave the Hurricanes a 20-16 lead.


The young winger returned to field to score again as the Blues grabbed an unexpected four-try win over the Hurricanes in their first match under new coach Sir John Kirwan.


The lead changed hands six times before the Blues clinched its win in the final quarter with tries to Halai and centre Rene Ranger.


The Hurricanes took a 13-11 lead to halftime after replying to Halai’s opening score with a try to winger Julian Savea.


The Blues regained the lead when fullback Charles Pituau scored in the 49th minute but the Hurricanes went ahead again with the penalty try.


Halai was judged to have deliberately knocked the ball over the deadball line in a contest for possession with Savea and received a yellow card for that offence.


Scrumhalf Piri Weepu trimmed the Hurricane’s lead to one point with a penalty, then Ranger and Halai sealed the win with late tries.


“All we ask of these guys is to be themselves and that’s what’s starting to happen,” Blues captain Ali Williams said.


“They’ve got faith in what they do and we’re working together as a team, not as individuals.”


Final Score Hurricanes 20 (13) Blues 34 (11)


Scorers


Hurricanes
Tries – J. Savea, Penalty try.
Pen – B. Barrett 2
Con – B Barrett 2
Drop –
Cards –


Blues
Tries – F. Halai 2, C. Piutau, R Ranger
Pen – P. Weepu 4
Con – P Weepu
Drop –
Cards – Frank Halai (56th minute yellow)


Match Officials
Referee
: Glen Jackson
Assistant Ref 1:Garratt Williamson
Assistant Ref 2:Nick Briant
TMO : Vinny Munro


Teams


Hurricanes


1. Ben Franks,2. Dane Coles,3. Ben May,4. Jeremy Thrush,5. Jason Eaton,6. Victor Vito,7. Karl Lowe,8. Brad Shields,9. TJ Perenara,10. Beauden Barrett,11. Julian Savea,12. Tim Bateman,13. Conrad Smith (c),14. Alapati Leiua,15. Andre Taylor


Replacements : 16. Ash Dixon,17. Reggie Goodes,18. Mark Reddish,19. Faifili Levave,20. Chris Smylie,21. James Marshall,22. Reynold Lee-Lo


Blues


15. Charles Piutau ,14. Frank Halai,13. Rene Ranger ,12. Francis Saili,11. George Moala,10. Chris Noakes,9. Piri Weepu ,8. Peter Saili,7. Luke Braid,6. Steven Luatua,5. Ali Williams (C),4. Culum Retallick,3. Charlie Faumuina,2. James Parsons,1. Tom McCartney


Replacements :16. Quentin MacDonald,17. Angus Ta’avao,18. Liaki Moli,19. Brendon O’Connor,20. Bryn Hall,21. Baden Kerr,22. Jackson Willison

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