Akira Ioane is all rounder in the starting blindside spot for the Blues. Where he looked after his own forwards pack. In which added a robust defensive setup.
Highlanders are unable to get themselves over the line. Especially with a lack of decoy runners out there. Akira was alert to mark one down alone. Before he turned around that saw the ref hand that penalty/turnover to the Blues. This is pure hard work with plenty of physicality. But wait there is more about his runs in the attack.
Like how his backline troops talked well with him defensively. Where they were able to assist his aim to help win the ball on hand. Akira exactly gave a helping hand in return. He ran forward to keep an eye on Emoni Narawa. After Sam Nock cleared out. Then Narawa passed to his brother Rieko. And that talk up when the inside pass went to him. It was so easy for Akira to close out with the TRY. As he deserves an all-round Blues Performance.
Another Blues star who was unstoppable on the left wing is Caleb Clarke. He just could not stop running all day. Credit to his forwards with the great defensive work. And the opposition lack of fire.
It gave them plenty of time to sort out his attacking setup. Caleb was ready straight away. Where he sprints towards the finish line. Thanks to a great offload from Rieko Ioane. And he touched down beautifully.
Caleb provides that pacey dimension in the Blues final third. As said with the poor discipline & lack of conversions from the Highlanders today. He went out there to help plant his team’s foundations. And the way they want to play. Which was not hard to put themselves ahead. Blues stayed there with the consistency for the whole game. Well done to Caleb who was destructive to the Highlanders own half.
I think the fresh change not long after the break have climbed back a bit. Meet that hooker who came off the bench. And made an impact straightaway. His name is Ash Dixon who plays for the Highlanders.
The way he brings so much physicality such as the throw-in. Handled the maul very well that successfully flipped the touchdown. Then forming these defensive blocks. This is something the away team have missed out on during the first 40.
His presence really gave what Ash can offer for the Dunedin-based side. He hopes to start in the No.2 shirt ahead of Liam Coltman. But just not his day today to witness the Blues win. When there was plenty of ill-discipline involved. Plus a lack of finishing to create difficulty on the other end. Not his fault though with very little time to compensate their poor 1st half. His run today would need more time to give the Hurricanes a tough road ahead.