Pre-season victories for Highlanders, Blues and Chiefs

GettyImages 1368557688

The win completed a weekend of warm-up games two weeks out from the start of the competition proper.


Conditions in Wellington were tricky with constant rain, without the usual accompanying wind, making handling more difficult the further the game went.


But that didn't deter the Blues from using their attacking skills to open up the Hurricanes defences with some long-distance plays that saw them come back from 7-21 down early in the second half.


They were in that position was due to lack of discipline and conceding too many penalties in the first half, including a penalty try. By comparison to the home team, the Blues showed greater penetration in their backs, especially in the two tries scored by left-wing A J Lam. The second was helped by a superb break by lock Sam Darry on the Hurricanes' 22m line. Bursting through a breakdown, Darry gave Lam enough room to go over in the corner.


Right-wing Jacob Ratumaitavuki-Kneepkens was rewarded for a busy day when following through a chip kick he made to win the touchdown for a try.



At Mt Smart Stadium on Friday, the Chiefs gave Moana Pasifika a reality check when running in eights tries to one in their 61-7 win.


The Chiefs utilised their teamwork to make early inroads with their driving maul before changes made in the second and third spells of the game opened up chances for the backs to show their skills. First five-eighths Josh Ioane proved what an asset he will be when landing seven conversions.


In North Otago, at Weston, another game marred by rain, it took Marty Banks' late penalty goal to edge the Highlanders to a 20-19 win over the Crusaders.


Most encouraging for the Highlanders was the form of halfback Folau Fakatava upon his return from injury. He slipped back into the game with ease, contributing to the Highlanders continuity play.


Crusaders mid-fielder Dallas McLeod highlighted some defensive concerns for the Highlanders when breaking through for his try.


Scores were:


Moana Pasifika 7 (Lotu Inisi try; Christian Lealiifano con) Chiefs 61 (Leni Apisai, Laghlan McWhannell, Etene Nanai-Seturo, Jonah Lowe, Bradley Slater, Josh Ioane, Emoni Narawa, Chase Tiatia tries; Bryn Gatland 2 con; Josh Ioane 7 con). HT: 0-19


Highlanders 20 (Moses Dawai, Liam Coltman tries; Mitch Hunt 2 con, pen; Marty Banks pen) Crusaders 19 (Dallas McLeod, Simon Hickey tries; penalty try; Fergus Burke con). HT: 17-7


Hurricanes 21 (Penalty try; Siua Maile, Wes Goosen tries; Ruben Love con; Jackson Garden-Bachop con) Blues 28 (A J Lam 2, Marcel Renata, Jacob Ratumaitavuki-Kneepkens tries; Harry Plummer con; Stephen Perofeta con ). HT: 7-14



View all