Blues trounce Chiefs 41-10 to win Super Rugby Pacific title

Reiko Ioane was part of the winning Blues side
Reiko Ioane was part of the winning Blues side
©Steve Haag

Blues 41-10 Chiefs, Eden Park

Caleb Clarke starred with a hat-trick as Blues sealed a 41-10 victory over Chiefs at Eden Park on Saturday to clinch the Super Rugby Pacific title.

Damian McKenzie had a chance to open the account for Chiefs early but his penalty goal drifted wide after a ruck infringement from Blues before the first points came in the 12th minute when Akira Ioane spotted the gap and raced through to dive for the opening try. Harry Plummer kicked the conversion and followed with a penalty goal to make it 10-0.

As Ricky Riccitelli failed to roll conceding a penalty to Chiefs which McKenzie converted this time. The home side further extended the lead as Ioane sent a perfect offload for Clarke to dot down. Plummer was once again spot on with the conversion and at the stroke of half time kicked a penalty goal making it 20-3.

The 51st minute saw Chiefs were down to 14 players temporarily with George Dyer sin-binned for repeated infringements and Blues capitalised on the numerical advantage Sotutu fed Clarke for their third try and the winger completed his hat-trick by the 62nd minute when he collected a floating pass from Perofeta. Plummer made both the conversions making it 34-3.

In the 67th minute, Chiefs struck back with Simon Parker dotting down but Blues celebrated the win AJ Lam diving from close range in the 74th minute and Plummer's conversion ensured they sealed a title victory with a 41-10 victory.

Team line up:

Blues: 1 Ofa Tu'ungafasi, 2 Ricky Riccitelli, 3 Marcel Renata, 4 Patrick Tuipulotu (c), 5 Sam Darry, 6 Akira Ioane, 7 Dalton Papali'i, 8 Hoskins Sotutu, 9 Finlay Christie, 10 Harry Plummer, 11 Caleb Clarke, 12 AJ Lam, 13 Rieko Ioane, 14 Mark Tele'a, 15 Stephen Perofeta

Reserves: 16 Kurt Eklund, 17 Joshua Fusitu'a, 18 Angus Ta'avao, 19 Josh Beehre, 20 Adrian Choat, 21 Taufa Funaki, 22 Bryce Heem, 23 Cole Forbes

Chiefs: 1. Aidan Ross, 2. Tyrone Thompson, 3. George Dyer, 4. Jimmy Tupou, 5. Tupou Vaa'I, 6. Samipeni Finau, 7. Luke Jacobson (c), 8. Wallace Sititi, 9. Cortez Ratima, 10. Damian McKenzie, 11. Etene Nanai-Seturo, 12. Rameka Poihipi, 13. Anton Lienert-Brown, 14. Emoni Narawa, 15. Shaun Stevenson

Reserves: 16. Bradley Slater, 17. Jared Proffit, 18. Reuben O'Neill, 19. Manaaki Selby-Rickit, 20. Simon Parker, 21. Xavier Roe, 22. Quinn Tupaea, 23. Daniel Rona