Rugby returned to Eden Park with the second match of the Investec Super Rugby Aotearoa Series between the Blues and the Hurricanes. The 43 000 plus crowd got full value for their money in an outstanding display of running rugby from the Blues who have returned to action with an impressive 30-20 victory over the Hurricanes.
The first 20 minutes was an exciting affair with three tries scored. It took 8 minutes for the Hurricanes to put the first points on the score-bord via a penalty for a transgression come ruck-time and then the flood gates opened. The Blues, at this stage, lead 14-8 and although the penalty count was 6 at this stage some proper attacking rugby was being played by both sides.
Halftime gave everyone a chance to catch their breath after a stunning first half at Eden Park! Both sides showed little signs that they haven't played competitively for over three months - the skills were first-class and the pace was electric. The Blues threatened to break away on a couple of occasions however the Hurricanes responded every time. At the break, the Blues lead narrowly by 14-13 over the Hurricanes.
The third quarter started off, in the same manner, the first half was played with a brilliant try by Dalton Papali to give the Blues an early 21-13 lead. Unfortunately, the six penalties in a row conceded by the Hurricanes gave the Blues chance to extend their lead to 27-13 at the end of the third quarter. The Hurricanes being robbed of any opportunities with their ill-discipline at the breakdown.
The last quarter was unfortunately dominated by penalties but the Blues deservedly won 30-20 with the boot of Otere Black and the ill-discipline of the Hurricanes in the third quarter the deciding factors. A total of 28 penalties still not acceptable.
Hurricanes: Tries: Dane Coles, Ben Lam, Jamie Booth. Conversion: TJ Perenarra. Penalty: Jackson Garden-Bachop.
Blues: Tries: Caleb Clarke, TJ Faiane, Dalton Papali. Conversions: Otere Black (3). Penalties: Otere Black (3).