SATURDAY, 19 MARCH 2011
Full time is called and the Blues record a hard fought 41-17 win with the scoreline not really reflecting the contest that was. The Blues take away a bonus point for their troubles.
CONVERSION BLUES - Munro converts successfully for the third time tonight and the Blues lead 41-17.
TRY BLUES - The Blues awarded the penalty and Manu taps and charges. He falls just short of the line. Ball is played out left and Payne bursts through to score a much deserved try.
The Blues with the bonus point all wrapped up are looking to add to their tally of 34 points. They have the scrum under the posts.
With the job all done the Blues make some changes to give some young players a run and rest some old and tired legs at the same time.
CONVERSION BLUES - Munro adds the extras and it's party time for the Blues. They won't lose this match now. They lead 34-17.
TRY BLUES - The Hurricanes lose possession in the line out and Mathewson takes it out the back. Like a pick pocket he steals it and runs. They won't catch him and he plants under the posts.
The clock is ticking with the Hurricanes needing to overcome a ten point deficit to win this match.
CONVERSION BLUES - Munro converts his own try with the Blues now leading 27-17.
TRY BLUES - Brett holds it up and dummies before Lachie Munro cuts across, receives the pass and dives through for the try. Huge moment in the match.
The Blues keep attacking knowing they will have to find the gap somewhere with the extra man in play.
SIN BIN - Hore has been sin binned for the Hurricanes and the Blues will have the numerical advantage. That's one penalty too many after being warned by the referee.
Toeava with a lightning fast run from right to centre, making up thirty metres. He might go all the way, but Cruden makes the try saving tackle and the steal!
The Hurricanes are playing with renewed confidence closing up all options for the Blues.
PENALTY GOAL HURRICANES - Kirkpatrick slots through his fourth penalty and it's game on here. Blues lead 20-17.
The Blues concede the penalty out of frustration and the Hurricanes will have the penalty right in front of the sticks.
Despite the lack of scoreboard activity, this second half has seen some very fierce and intense rugby. This match is still up for grabs and both teams know it.
MISS - Both teams appear to be having difficulties with their kicking with McAlister missing to the right. Blues still lead 20-14.
The Blues have been awarded the penalty and Matthewson takes it quickly looking for bigger fish to fry. The advantage is played and it ends up coming back for the penalty kick.
Nonu breaks away and bolts. He breaks one tackle but gets held up and throws it back without looking, conceding possession.
MISS - Kirkpatrick lines up the penalty right on the 22 metre marker and hooks it to the left once again.
The Hurricanes are pushing down the left. Ranger goes in for the steal but the Blues are penalised as Payne does not get out of the way.
Boric looks to be in trouble after having his knee twisted in the tackle. He receives some treatment goes for a jog. He doesn't look to be as bad as first thought.
MISS - From 45 metres out Kirkpatrick hooks it looking for distance and misses to the left.
The Hurricanes are awarded an early penalty and Kirkpatrick will line it up once again.
The second half is underway.
Blues lead 20-14 at half-time.
MISS - Kirkpatrick's penalty hits the post and comes back into play. Thrush takes it down the right and looks determined, but he is dragged out to touch and that's all she wrote for the first half.
The home fans are not happy with the penalty being awarded to the Hurricanes.
PENALTY GOAL BLUES - McAlister restores the six point buffer with an easy penalty kick from under the posts. Blues lead 20-14.
Brett bursts through as the Hurricanes turn it over once again. He gets inside the 22, now ten metres short before the ball is ripped out in the tackle. Penalty Blues.
Hurricanes turn it over in defence as the Blues run it in numbers. Ranger has it inches short of the line before the whistle blows for a Hurricanes penalty for obstruction.
PENALTY GOAL HURRICANES - Kirkpatrick's kick has the accuracy and just manages to have enough legs on it for the carry. Blues lead reduced to 17-14.
The Hurricanes have the chance to edge closer here with another infringement by the Blues defence. Kirkpatrick has the chance to reduce the deficit to 3 points.
MISS - McAlister with an opportunity to extend the Blues' lead, but the penalty kick is a difficult one. McAlister misses well to the right and play continues.
MISS - From just inside touch Kirkpatrick's kick fades away left. Blues still lead 17-11.
TRY HURRICANES - The Hurricanes are pushing and only metres short of the line. Nonu goes wide to Tialata who dummies then muscles his way over for the try.
The Hurricanes need to work on reducing the deficit with the Blues being urged on by the home crowd.
CONVERSION BLUES - McAlister makes no mistake from under the posts. Blues lead 17-6.
TRY BLUES - Nonu loses the ball to Payne who sees Ranger with a good run down the right. Ranger goes inside to Brett who strolls over for the try.
PENALTY GOAL HURRICANES - Hurricanes have been awarded the penalty much to the frustration of the home fans. Kirkpatrick from out near the right touch line makes it look easy. Blues lead 10-6.
Savea runs down the right and sees some space ahead so he chips, but he is not able to get to it and the Blues intercept through Ranger who is subsequently tackled and stopped in his tracks.
Payne on a good strong run. He is having a good game and is only brought down by some good defence by the Hurricanes.
Some good defence by Payne cuts off the grubber kick when the Hurricanes looked a strong chance to break through.
CONVERSION BLUES - McAlister with a brilliant kick from out near touch to take the scores out to 10-3.
TRY BLUES - Toeava takes it, runs 15 metres before drawing an opponent. He sees Ranger outside and goes to him. The Ranger is bumped and pushed, but that won't stop him.
The Blues are beginning to look dangerous down the right with Ranger prominent.
PENALTY GOAL HURRICANES - Daniel Kirkpatrick from out near the 22 metre marker kicks a beauty! He bends it back from right to left to level the scores.
Now it's the Hurricanes who attack. Woodcock doesn't release the ball carrier and the Hurricanes will have the chance to level the scores.
PENALTY GOAL BLUES - McAlister steps up confidently, strikes the ball and likes what he sees. The crowd do too and the flags are raised. The Blues with an early 3-0 lead.
Nonu is penalised and Luke McAlister will line up the shot.
Stowers tries to get through smack bang on the line but he is held up and play is taken back across to the right.
The Blues have an early line out and it's a successful one as they seek to get out of their own half.
We are off and underway at Eden Park for The Big One - Blues vs Hurricanes. What else can you ask for on a Saturday night?
S Brett, J Payne, R Ranger, L Munro
N Tialata, A Mathewson
L McAlister (2), L Munro (3)
L McAlister (2)
D Kirkpatrick (4)
Rucks & Mauls
Tackles / Missed