Blues trounce Highlanders 35-6 to make it to semi-finals of Super Rugby Pacific

Beauden Barrett scored two tries for Blues
Beauden Barrett scored two tries for Blues

Blues 35-6 Highlanders, Eden Park

Beauden Barrett scored a double as Blues trounced Highlanders 35-6 in the quarter-final of the Super Rugby Pacific played at Eden Park on Saturday.

The game also saw former NFL star Roger Tuivasa-Sheck scoring his first try in the competition.

The third minute saw Blues infringe for an offside and Marty Banks kicked a penalty goal to get Highlanders off the mark. The 22nd minute saw Highlanders lose Andrew Makalio to red card for a no-arms tackle on Tom Robinson's head.

Despite being a player down, Highlanders doubled their tally to six points after Blues were found guilty of tackling without a ball but the Blues finally got their breakthrough as Akira Ioane stormed over the line in the 32nd minute and Stephen Perofeta landed the conversion to make it 7-6.

With the break approaching, Blues further extended their lead with this time Barrett sped for 30m to dot down and Perofeta follows with the conversion to make it 14-6.

The home side were the quickest to get off the block in the second half as Barrett completed his second in the 48th minute after slick play from Tuivasa-Sheck and replacement winger AJ Lam and Perofeta got the conversion to perfection.

The fourth try for the home side came inside the third quarter as replacement winger AJ Lam scored Tuivasa-Sheck also followed the suit in the 69th minute as Blues made it to the semi-finals.

Team line up:

Blues: 1.Alex Hodgman, 2.Kurt Eklund 3.Ofa Tuungafasi, 4.James Tucker, 5.Tom Robinson, 6.Akira Ioane, 7.Adrian Choat, 8.Hoskins Sotutu, 9.Finlay Christie, 10.Beauden Barrett (capt.), 11.Mark Telea, 12.Roger Tuivasa.Sheck, 13.Rieko Ioane, 14.Bryce Heem, 15.Stephen Perofeta

Reserves: 16.Soane Vikena, 17.Karl Tu'inukuafe, 18.Nepo Laulala, 19.Luke Romano, 20.Josh Goodhue, 21.Sam Nock, 22.AJ Lam, 23.Zarn Sullivan

Highlanders: 1.Ethan de Groot, 2.Andrew Makalio, 3.Jermaine Ainsley, 4.Bryn Evans, 5.Josh Dickson, 6.Hugh Renton, 7.Billy Harmon, 8.Marino Makaele.Tu'u, 9.Folau Fakatava, 10.Marty Banks, 11.Mosese Dawai, 12.Scott Gregory, 13.Thomas Umaga.Jensen, 14.Fetuli Paea, 15.Connor Garden.Bachop

Reserves: 16.Leni Apisai, 17.Daniel Lienert.Brown, 18.Saula Mau, 19.Max Hicks, 20.Shannon Frizell, 21.Kayne Hammington, 22.Liam Coombes.Fabling, 23.Denny Solomona