Five things we learnt from Blues - Chiefs Super Rugby Pacific Final

Sat, Jun 22, 2024, 8:51 AM
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson

The Blues were in control all game as they took out the 2024 Super Rugby Pacific Final in a dominant display over the Chiefs.

The hosts were relentless throughout the 80 minutes, running away with the game either side of half-time for their first title since 2003.

Tickets to the Wallabies 2024 Home Tests are available to purchase here.

So what did we learn?

1. Drought enders

It’s been a long time between drinks for the Blues so they’ll relish the one-sided win in the streets of Auckland.

Since the opening round, the Blues have been one of the dominant teams in Super Rugby alongside the Hurricanes and when the Wellington side went down last weekend, you felt like it was the Blues’ title to lose.

Dalton Papali'i called it the most complete 80 minutes of the year and it's hard to argue against as they never gave the Chiefs a chance.

It adds to the legacy of Vern Cotter as a coach, who doesn’t get enough credit for his work in turning Scotland and Fiji into powerhouses.

He’s had an instant impact on a side that has arguably underperformed since their last title in 2003, cleaning up their mistakes and delivering success.

2. Heartbreak Hotel

The Chiefs were blown out of the water early and had little answer to the Blues’ power.

Discipline was their problem as they allowed the Blues to camp inside their 22 for the majority of the game. On three separate occasions, they drew the ire of referee Nic Berry before they were reduced to 14 just after the break.

Their attack also struggled in the wet conditions, making costly mistakes as they tried to get back into the game.

It leaves the Chiefs once again wondering what could’ve been after yet another Final defeat.

3. Fitting farewell 

Akira Ioane had extra motivation to finish his Blues career on a high and it showed in the first quarter.

The number eight found a slither of space and did enough to hold on for the opening try.

His work for the second try topped this, somehow staying in on the back of a Chiefs’ defender to find Caleb Clarke in the corner.

The Ioanes have been a staple of the Blues for the past decade, celebrating their final game together with the title as Akira got a standing ovation on his departure.

4. Inspirational Tuipulotu

It took 14 minutes for Patrick Tuipulotu to prove his fitness to All Blacks coach Scott Robertson.

The Blues captain was expected to miss the July series but he powered his side to a dominant first half when he broke four tacklers off the kick-off to stride into space.

He was one of several Blues with double-digit carries as they continued to apply pressure to the Chiefs’ line and deserved to claim player of the final

It was a serious show of power from the towering All Black, who will play a big part in the upcoming Test calendar.

5. Big game player

Caleb Clarke rises to the occasion and this Final was no different as he tormented the Chiefs close to the line.

Clarke is a physical specimen and in wet conditions, his power is near unstoppable close to the line as he crossed for a hat-trick.

He has scored ten tries in 2024, with over half of those coming in the finals series.

It runs in his blood, with father Eroni scoring in the Blues' first title success in 1996

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