Next LIVE rugby on TV
to be announced
Wed, 31 Jul 2013 14:30:05 +0000
  • Switch Edition
ESPN SCRUM / Super Rugby 2014 / Match Pack
Follow@ESPNSCRUM
Super Rugby
Blues stun Crusaders in Auckland
February 28, 2014
Report Match details
Date/Time: Feb 28, 2014, 19:35 local, 06:35 GMT
Venue: Eden Park, Auckland
Blues 35 - 24 Crusaders
Half-time: 15 - 17
Tries: Halai, Li, Moala, Willison
Cons: Hickey 3
Pens: Hickey 3
Tries: Crotty, Flynn, Slade
Cons: Taylor 3
Pens: Taylor
George Moala beats Andy Ellis, Blues v Crusaders, Eden Park, Super Rugby, February 28, 2014
The Blues dominated possession early and were too strong for the Crusaders
© Getty Images
Enlarge

Benji Marshall sat on the bench for the entire match as the Blues downed the Crusaders 35-24 in the Super Rugby clash in Auckland on Friday. The much-hyped rugby league convert looked on as 20-year-old Blues five-eighth and debutant Simon Hickey steered the Auckland-based franchise to an impressive comeback victory with 15 points off the boot.

Hickey, a surprise choice at No.10, showed some nice touches and landed six of his seven shots at goal, including three penalties. Blues coach John Kirwan axed five-eighth Chris Noakes following last week's loss to the Highlanders and it was thought former NRL star Marshall would get a crack at No.10.

But Marshall was merely a spectator as the Blues produced a scoring blitz either side of half-time to secure a remarkable come-from-behind win.

"A few players had individual moments of brilliance and it was awesome to get the momentum... we tried to catch the Crusaders off guard," Hickey said.

The Crusaders appeared to be racing away with the game when they pulled out to a 17-3 lead midway through the opening spell.

But the Blues turned the match on its head with four tries in 13 minutes. The result at Eden Park means the Crusaders have started the season with two straight defeats. And they could have long-term problems if their concerns around Richie McCaw prove true.

He was taken off at half-time after uncharacteristically missing tackles in the Blues' first two tries.

"Richie may have fractured a thumb. He'll have to go to hospital for checks," a dejected Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder lamented.

Crusaders captain Kieran Read said his players failed to maintain their intensity after a good start. "You've got to keep your foot on the throat when you're up 17-3," he said. "The Blues are a quality side and if you give them opportunities they'll take them."

For the Blues, it was a spectacular way to end to a seven-game losing run going back to last May.

There was plenty of encouragement in the performance of their young brigade, with debutant first five-eighth Simon Hickey, lock Patrick Tuipulotu and winger Tevita Li all contributing. The Blues made the early running but their repeated failure to secure their own line-out ball meant they couldn't capitalise.

They then saw the opposition score from their first real incursion, hooker Corey Flynn displaying a winger's skills to dot down in the corner. While that try came off a counter-attack, it was traditional Crusaders' patience that produced the second touchdown to fullback was Colin Slade. Seven minutes from halftime the Blues flicked the switch.

Firstly, a great turnover by lock Tom Donnelly was finished off by winger Frank Halai. Then the Blues other lock, Tuipulotu, snared the kick-off and sent the other winger, 18-year-old Li, away to the tryline to close the gap to two points at the break.

A minute after the restart, the home side went ahead for the first time, when the Crusaders couldn't clean up a Hickey kick-ahead and centre George Moala grabbed the loose ball to score.

Second five-eighth Jackson Willison put them further in front after he latch on to halfback Piri Weepu's deft kick to the in-goal for the bonus-point try.

The Crusaders mounted a comeback and, with Blues flanker Steven Luatua binned for a breakdown offence, they got a late consolation try to second five Ryan Crotty.

The Blues proved too good for the Crusaders, scoring four tries in thirteen minutes (video available in Australia only)
© AAP

Live Sports

Communication error please reload the page.

  • Football

  • Cricket

  • Rugby

    • Days
    • Hrs
    • Mins
    • Secs

    F1 - United States GP

  • OtherLive >>

    Darts - European Championship
    Golf - McGladrey Classic
    Golf - Perth International
    Tennis - Swiss Indoors
    Tennis - Valencia Open
    Tennis - WTA Finals
  • Rugby

    Eagles coach wants 'blood and guts'

    US Eagles coach Mike Tolkin has called on his side to leave nothing on Soldier Field bar "blood and guts" when they face the All Blacks on Saturday

  • Formula 1

    Sauber 'disturbed' by state of F1

    Sauber team principal Monisha Kaltenborn says the way in which Formula One has dealt with the collapse of the grid's two smallest teams is "disturbing"

  • Tennis

    Federer cruises as Djokovic sets up Murray tie

    Roger Federer maintained pressure on Novak Djokovic in the race for world No.1 status after a 6-4 6-4 win against Lucas Pouille earned him a place in the last eight at the Paris Masters, before the Serb saw off Gael Monfils to set up a clash with Andy Mur

  • Rugby

    Burgess ready for Bath challenge

    Sam Burgess has revealed his high-profile, six-figure switch of rugby codes was based on "the challenge" that will await him - and not next year's World Cup in England

  • Formula 1

    Rosberg on full attack mode for three races

    Nico Rosberg says the gloves can come off completely in his duel with Lewis Hamilton at the United States Grand Prix now Mercedes has wrapped up the constructors' championship

Sponsored Links
Make $170 in 60 seconds!
Google Vs Facebook, 60 sec. knock out! Choose a champion, Become a Winner!
Make $25 in 1 Minute!
Start trading with the biggest broker! Register now to receive $25 for FREE!