The Blues now tops ths Hurricanes on the Super Rugby ladder with three weeks to go after a close four point win at Eden Park

by Sports Benches

Week 12 of the 2024 Super Rugby Season saw the best of the best teams take on each other during the twilight Saturday at Eden Park in Auckland, which was the 2nd best Blues hosting the leaders Hurricanes from Wellington. The first half saw Bryce Heem kickstarting the match with the early lead for the home side while the Canes were so good at bouncing back along the way as Blues lead 14-10 despite another late Hurricanes where they didn’t make the best of their conversion kicks.

Yes, that weakness might have finally changed when the Canes scored back-to-back tries in quick succession after the break to hold the lead for the first time. Unfortunately, that was short lived with the Blues going on to reclaim the top spot and then extending it with more tries on the board including a penalty goal later in the 2nd half. The door might not be closed just yet when the Hurricanes continued to bounce back that sets up a wild snail race to the finish line but then it was too little, too late with little time remaining to snag a late match-winning TRY as the Blues win at home by only four points in Auckland, 31-27.

Bryce Heem launched the Blues attack wide open on the inside centre at 12 that puts his players on the front foot earlier on including a TRY for himself. Gotta say he’s still up to it against the best of the best in Super Rugby v Hurricanes, having started for nearly the whole time & sure he still has unfinished business for his Blues side to dominate the entirety of this season (both the ladder and grand final) at 35.  Next up is another experienced Blues player in Angus Ta’avao who made an immediate impact to frustrate the Hurricanes during the 2nd half off the bench as the reserve front rower. He’s the perfect man to weather the storm where the Blues were able to get the extended lead under his watch before he and the Blues were able to escape in a race against time after they successfully kicked into touch with a four point win at home. The Blues now lead the Super Rugby ladder with three rounds to go as they will be back at Eden Park next Saturday night v the Highlanders in the search of their fourth title since 2003 & these two key players are here to guide them all the way & get another trophy.

And Peter Lakai did his best to push his Hurricanes over the line on the openside back row at 7 with excellent fight to keep the Blues in check. He too can get the job done as well as being able to stop the Blues in his tracks that reflects his brilliant potential. Yes, the Canes were unlucky to scrape past the Blues as the clock ticks down; but they just couldn’t take advantage of their 1st half performance even when the opposition had 14 men before they walked on eggshells towards the end which sadly didn’t end so well. They might have a bit of an easier run-in since the Hurricanes are well & truly safe into the Finals despite losing top spot now to the Blues. Moana Pasifika (9th or 10th placed) is next up on Friday night as interesting to see if they can keep on winning even without Cameron Roigard when playing v Chiefs & even Highlanders (both again) after that.

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