Rieko Ioane has played a huge part of the Blues victory last night in the outside midfield at No.13. He’s got excellent vision & height to cover his forwards line, so he can communicate clearly before he turns his attention into the attack with the passing while running/backing up through the channels. His influence is there to see after the respective tries of Finlay Christie (1st half) & Mark Telea (2nd half), having got away with a decent first 40 lead before he kept the good work up by extending their lead further as the game goes on. Gotta say that he will be one of the key players to be aware of in the semis next week based on his excellent on-field input that puts the Blues on the front foot.
There’s another key player to look out for is none other than Nepo Laulala in the No.3 Blues front row at tighthead. He too has been destructive against the Waratahs defensive line where not only he helped them win penalties, but also gave them the tries they need including one for himself that overtook them for the lead earlier in the first half. There’s so much meat in there to plow his way through to dig in what the Waratahs are trying to do at their own line while the Blues have the ball on hand. Plus, he’s got a lot of Super Rugby experience at 31 in the hope of lifting the trophy soon. He knows what’s it like to play against Crusaders & Chiefs, having played for both teams in the past.
And Ben Donaldson was so dynamic by leading from the Waratahs backline in the No.15 shirt. Yes, he’s usually the playmaker at No.10. But his kicking game & pace has been handy that saw him play in a different position after the injury of Max Jorgensen, especially when looking to put his side out of trouble while he executed that cross kick where Dylan Pietsch scored the 2nd TRY later on. It would’ve been better if he retained the conversion kick duties in addition to his dynamic in-play skillets, but Tahs couldn’t stop the Blues attack thanks to the ill-discipline being caught for the majority.