2020 Super Rugby Aotearoa, Week 7: Blues v Chiefs at Eden Park debrief


Image Reference: BaldBoris/KiwiFlickr via Wikipedia, 10/10/08, CC BY 2.0

The first 40 went the Blues way at home in Eden Park.

Finlay Christie’s kick out followed by the successful scrum feed launched the channels in the centre on the far left before Matt Duffie touched down the first big score.

It didn’t take that long for the forwards to successfully block and halt the Chiefs build-up structure in the attack having used the big physical muscle to cash in on that line-out penalty with another TRY.

Having successfully completed the throw-in, the Blues remained patient sphereheaded by Barrett and Christie in spreading out wide.

And it helped their forwards extract the ounce off the opposition territory when Patrick Tuipulotu executed that successful finish.

Midway before the break, the Chiefs may have bounced back with the big score themselves from Lochlan Boshier thanks to the patient power on the run home.

But the Chiefs backline couldn’t hack the maximum points needed possible with the only real threat received from Damian McKenzie alone.

There’s not much support that McKenzie needed to unpack short balls and physical power on the way that helped the Blues hold up their attacking structure.

HALF-TIME: Blues 14-7 Chiefs

The Chiefs have gathered moimentum in the 2nd half when they held up the Blues attack with the fumble before successfully converting the successful scrum via the support passage play with some pace and quick balls on the far left where Solomon Alaimalo touched down for the TRY.

Not long later, the Blues forwards pack continued to make mistakes with the offside as Damian McKenzie cashed in via the penalty goal that put the Chiefs up in front by three points (14-17) with 30 minutes left.

Blues, however, have bounced back with the patient build-up play from Ofa Tu’ungafasi who grabbed the ball and chased before he found some support to Finlay Christie.

Christie used the ball wisely with his fantastic feed and pace having helped the Blues regain the lead thanks to a TRY himself.

In the last 20 minutes of the afternoon, the Chiefs have turned a corner defensively having held up the Blues build-up play and won penalties.

They have at times have threatened to complete the build-up play where Harry Plummer had to go off the field for ten minutes.

But despite having to battle against a 14 man Blues side, the Chiefs didn’t execute a late try where Josh Goodhue stuffed their build-up play with difficulty releasing the ball.

And that save the Blues day in a thrilling finish with the win by four points, 21-17 and still be in the running to claim top spot in Super Rugby Aotearoa.

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