In the first match of the second round of the Investec Super Rugby Aotearoa series, the Blues have defeated the Chiefs 24-12 in a record-breaking win in Hamilton to give them two wins from two in this revamped competition.
The first ten minutes of the match did not produce much excitement with both sides happy to not commit to the breakdown to avoid penalties. The Chiefs controlled much of the first ten minutes of the game but could not convert their opportunities into points. The Blues lead 7-6 at the end of the first quarter but their ill-discipline at the breakdown, leading the penalty count with 6 to 1 at that stage, cost them several attacking opportunities.
The second quarter remained pointless before a converted penalty extended the Blues lead to 10-6 with four minutes to go to halftime. The 10th penalty conceded by the Blues allowed the Chiefs to close the gap to 9-10 on the stroke of halftime.
The Chiefs dominated the game with the help of the Blues' ill-discipline that cost them 10 penalties to the 3 conceded by the Chiefs. The Blues at this stage kept in the game by their loose forwards' efforts on the ground. The turnover count at the end of the first half 10-3 in favour of the Blues who. The Chiefs need to make more of the penalty advantage in the second half with the Blues starting the second half with only 14 men.
The third quarter only resulted in 3 penalties which both teams converted one each to give the Blues a 13-12 lead with 20 minutes to play. Unfortunately, the 22 aimless kicks by the two sides took all life and excitement out of this "contest."
A drop goal by Beauden Barrett started the Blues surge which saw them score 11 points in 11 minutes. The Blues lead 24-12 with five minutes left on the clock and held on to win their first match in Hamilton since 2011. Ironically the game ended as the result of yet another aimless kick, the 69th kick in the game.
The second half saw the momentum swing the way of the visitors, especially in the final 15 minutes, where a second try sealed the win. The Chiefs had opportunities throughout the game on which they just could not capitalise. The Blues are riding high and while the Chiefs are not playing poorly, they have some work to do to get a winning score on the board.
Chiefs: Penalties: Damian Mckenzie (4).
Blues: Tries: Hoskins Sotutu, Mark Telea. Conversions: Otere Black. Penalties: Otere Black (2), Beauden Barrett. Drop goal: Beauden Barrett.