Match Centre: Blues 24-22 Chiefs

Auckland Blues have registered their first win of the competition
Auckland Blues have registered their first win of the competition

Blues 24-22 Chiefs, Eden Park

Bryn Gatland missed the penalty goal at the end as Chiefs were edged out with a 24-22 margin by Blues in the latest round of the Super Rugby Pacific at Eden Park on Saturday.

This is first win for Blues in two games as they are at sixth place in the table while Chiefs are at seventh place.

Harry Plummer started the proceedings with an early fourth minute penalty goal before Brad Weber on his 100th game collected his own kick after a couple of bounce and went on to touchdown in the 7th minute.

Josh Ioane missed out on the conversion but made sure he added the extras on their second try that came after Etene Nanai-Seturo sliced through the gap to cross over at the end of the opening quarter making the scoreline 3-12.

The Blues fought back as Caleb Clarke collected a long pass and went past three defenders to to dive in the corner in the 23rd minute and Plummer kicked the conversion to reduce the gap down to two points in the opening half.

Blues were the quickest to get off the block in the second half as Hoskins Sotutu showed a brilliant solo effort to dot down but his effort was negated with Weber completing his second that came off the back of a scrum before a penalty pushed them to a 17-22 lead.

Just as Chiefs looked to have sealed the game, Blues made a strong comeback with a series of passes resulting in Mark Telea going over the line in the 76th minute to level the scores and Stephen Perofeta kicked a nerveless conversion to put Blues in front.

With the game nearing its end, Chiefs decided to go for goal with Gatland taking the penalty goal at a 45m distance but it went wide as the visitors succumbed to a two-point defeat.

Team line up:

Blues XV: Alex Hodgman, Kurt Eklund, Nepo Laulala, Luke Romano, Josh Goodhue, Tom Robinson, Dalton Papalii, Hoskins Sotutu, Finlay Christie, Harry Plummer, Caleb Clarke, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Rieko Ioane, Mark Telea, Stephen Perofeta

Reserves: Ricky Riccitelli, Ofa Tuungafasi, Marcel Renata, Sam Darry, Adrian Choat, Sam Nock, Beauden Barrett, AJ Lam

Chiefs XV: Aidan Ross, Samisoni Taukei’aho, Sione Mafileo, Josh Lord, Brodie Retallick, Tupou Vaa’i, Sam Cane, Pita Gus Sowakula, Brad Weber, Brad Weber, Josh Ioane, Etene Nanai-Seturo, Quinn Tupaea, Alex Nankivell, Shaun Stevenson, Chase Tiatia

Reserves: Bradley Slater, Ollie Norris, Angus Ta’avao, Naitoa Ah Kuoi, Kaylum Boshier, Xavier Roe, Bryn Gatland, Anton Lienert-Brown