Blues edge Highlanders to stay undefeated after Eden Park thriller

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Aaron Smith of the Highlanders tackles Dalton Papalii of the Blues (Getty)


Aaron Smith of the Highlanders tackles Dalton Papalii of the Blues (Getty)

The Blues beat the Highlanders 27-24 in an electrical Tremendous Rugby Aotearoa conflict at Eden Park on Saturday morning. 

The match was performed in virtually fixed drizzle, however that might not silence an Auckland crowd that was at capability in what was one other excellent commercial for New Zealand rugby. 

There have been some extremely entertaining tries on supply, too, with the Blues scoring 4 to a few from their guests. 

The hosts had taken a 22-10 lead into half-time and seemed to be cruising, however the Highlanders hit again with two tries in fast succession after the break to surge into the lead briefly. 

The Highlanders, three factors down heading into the ultimate 10 minutes, missed an opportunity to attract degree when flyhalf Mitch Hunt missed a comparatively routine penalty try. 

There was additionally an opportunity to win it within the remaining moments when the Highlanders appeared to drive over from a rolling maul, however the Blues defence held agency. 

The Blues have now gained all three of their fixtures within the competitors to solidify their place on the highest of the log whereas the Highlanders, who had a bye final week, have now gained one and misplaced one. 

Sunday’s Aotearoa motion sees the Crusaders host the Chiefs at Orangetheory Stadium (05:35 SA time). 

Scorers

Blues 27 (22)

Tries: Caleb Clarke, Dalton Papali”i (2), Rieko Ioane

Conversions: Otere Black (2)

Penalty: Black

Highlanders 24 (10)

Tries: Ash Dixon, Mitch Hunt, Shannon Frizell

Conversions: Hunt (three)

Penalty: Hunt

Groups

Blues

15 Beauden Barrett, 14 Mark Telea, 13 Rieko Ioane, 12 TJ Faiane, 11 Caleb Clarke, 10 Otere Black, 9 Sam Nock, eight Hoskins Sotutu, 7 Dalton Papalii, 6 Akira Ioane, 5 Josh Goodhue, four Patrick Tuipulotu (captain), three Ofa Tu’ungafasi, 2 James Parsons, 1 Alex Hodgman

Substitutes: 16 Kurt Eklund, 17 Marcel Renata, 18 Sione Mafileo, 19 Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, 20 Tony Lamborn, 21 Finlay Christie, 22 Harry Plummer, 23 Joe Marchant

Highlanders

15 Scott Gregory, 14 Sam Gilbert, 13 Rob Thompson, 12 Sio Tomkinson, 11 Jona Nareki, 10 Mitch Hunt, 9 Aaron Smith, eight Marino Mikaele Tu’u, 7 Dillon Hunt, 6 Shannon Frizell, 5 Josh Dickson, four Pari Pari Parkinson, three Siate Tokolahi, 2 Ash Dixon, 1 Ayden Johnstone

Substitutes: 16 Liam Coltman, 17 Daniel Lienert-Brown, 18 Jeff Thwaites, 19 Manaaki Selby-Rickit, 20 Teariki Ben-Nicholas, 21 Kayne Hammington, 22 Bryn Gatland, 23 Ngane Punivai

– Compiled by Lloyd Burnard



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