Strong start seals Blues victory over Force

Super Rugby
Matt Lewis Profile
by Matt Lewis

The Blues have held on to defeat the Western Force 17-13 despite being scoreless in the second half.

The home side scored 10 unanswered points in the second half showing fight, but it wasn’t enough to steal the victory from the Blues.

The Force came out firing early, dominating 70% of possession inside the opening 10 minute, having numerous chances to score in their attacking 22 but it was the Blues defence that held strong.

The Force were eventually rewarded for their dominant play by Ian Prior slotting a penalty goal in the 11th minute.Melani Nanai was a constant threat. Photo: Getty Images

The Blues switched into gear and started to play the game in their court, firstly with a Ihaia West penalty and then ten minutes later it was All Black Jerome Kaino who bashed his way through the Force defence to extend their lead.

The Blues confidence continued to grow as they started to the throw the ball around and take chances. Tevita Li showed off his fancy footwork to dance around Dane Haylett-Petty and score a brilliant counter attacking try to extend the Blues lead to 17-3.

The Force received a boost just on halftime when Charlie Faumuina was yellow carded in the 40th minute for repeat infringements at the breakdown but the home side were unable to convert that opportunity into points.

The heavens opened up in the second half and the Force managed to halt the Blues scoring impact with Matt Hodgson leading from the front to dart over the Forces’ first try of the match in the 52nd minute.

The Force took control of the possession and Ben Tapuai was handed the kicking duties, slotting two kicks to narrow the margin to just four points with 15 minutes to play.

Despite owning 90% of the possession in the final 10 minutes the Force were unable to steal the victory and the Blues held on.

The Force next face the Rebels on Sunday at AAMI Park.

FORCE 13

Tries: Hodgson Cons: Tapuai Pens: Prior, Tapuai

BLUES 17

Tries: Kaino, Li Cons: West (2) Pens: West

 

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