Blues keep season alive at Hurricanes expense
theblues.co.nz 31 May 2014 Getty Images
There’s something about the garden of Eden. While their away form has been hopeless, the Blues are a different side at the fortress of Eden Park and tonight they put in a magnificent performance.
With forwards Jerome Kaino, Keven Mealamu, Charlie Faumuina and Patrick Tuipulotu all leading from the front with bone crunching tackles and hard runs, it gave the Blues' exciting backs the opportunity to cut loose.
Ihaia West did a sterling job marshalling the young Blues backline in just his first start for the team, while Bryn Hall continues to impress and outsides Lolagi Visinia and George Moala both contributed to the scoreboard.
There were danger signs when the Hurricanes rumbled over for a try from a rolling maul after just 10 minutes but those fears were short lived as the Blues burst into life.
A sensational piece of attacking play from the Blues saw Ma’a Nonu make a break from inside his own half, feed to his centre Pita Ahki who charged downfield and passed back to Nonu who had Bryn Hall ranging on his inside.
However Hurricanes fullback Matt Proctor stuck out his hand to bat down the ball from Nonu’s pass and television match official Glenn Newman adjudged it was a deliberate act of foul play as he awarded him a yellow card and a penalty try.
Ihaia West’s conversion put the Blues ahead 10-7 after quarter of an hour before Lolagi Visinia scored a superb try to push the home side ahead.
Ahki, who had his best game in a Blues jersey to date, saw space in behind the defensive line and produced a lovely grubber as Visinia charged onto the ball and collected it to dive over in the corner.
Leading 15-7 at the break, the Blues came out firing in the second half and scored after just two minutes. Following a solid build up, Jerome Kaino showed incredible strength to drive two Hurricanes defenders back 10 metres and muscle his way over the try line.
Then came the try of the evening. Ihaia West did exceptionally well to take a high ball and pass inside 30 metres to Frank Halai before being hit, and Halai sent Moala racing down the field, throwing two dummies and burning off Beauden Barrett to slide over the whitewash.
Julian Savea had a quiet game for the Hurricanes but hit back for his side with a try to narrow the deficit to 27-12, but Blues lock Patrick Tuipulotu soon nullified it with a strong dive to the line.
Ahead 34-12, the Blues took their foot off the accelerator in the final quarter as Ardie Savea and Faifili Levave scored late tries to give the score line some respectability, but it was a night the 16,000 strong Blues fans would have relished.
The Blues now have a three week break before travelling to Australia to face the Western Force.
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