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Blues dig deep with 'character searching performance' against Canes

By Finn Morton
(Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

Following a thrilling game-of-two-halves against the Hurricanes at Sky Stadium, the Blues left the capital with a hard-fought 25-19 win.


The Blues started their season with an dominant display against the Highlanders in round one, but were handed an early season wakeup call by the Brumbies in Super Round.

Eager to bounce back with a win against their fierce New Zealand rivals, the travelling Blues raced out to a commanding 10-nil lead midway through the first half.

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While the Hurricanes hit back through prop Tyrel Lomax, that’s as good as it got for the hosts in the first half.

All Blacks duo Caleb Clarke and Hoskins Sotutu crossed for crucial scores late in the first half, which saw the Blues race out to a convincing 22-5 lead at the break.

But the second term was a different story.

The Hurricanes showed plenty of fight, and even had a chance to win it at death – but the Blues “dug deep” and held on for the “character searching” victory.


“We really dug deep down there,” captain Dalton Papali’i told reporters.

“We didn’t have a lot of things go our way and our lineout started to crumble a bit at the end, but it’s a real character searching performance from the boys. We dug deep there at the end.


“When our backs were against the wall and you look to the man next to you and see that want in the eyes, that really gives you that confidence boost at the end and gives you that confidence boost.


“We’ll take this win going forward.”

After a dominant first half, the Blues only managed to add three points to their score after the break.

Meanwhile, the Hurricanes ran in two quick tries courtesy of outside backs Salesi Rayasi and Josh Moorby.

It didn’t come easy for the Blues.

But as star flanker Dalton Papali’i said, “you can win ugly, you can win perfect” – it doesn’t matter as long as you’re ahead on the scoreboard.

“Winning is winning,” he added.

“You can win ugly, you can win perfect and at the end of the day it’s one for the books, it’s another win in the column.

“We’ve just got to take the learnings from each game and take it into the next week.

“We didn’t really execute what we wanted to out there but you can’t fault the boys’ effort out there.

“If you can’t really execute your gameplan you want to see the boys (show) that want in their eyes and their want for them working hard, so it was good to see all of that.”

The Blues improve their season record to 2-1, but will face an almighty challenge next Saturday when they host the Crusaders at Eden Park.

The Crusaders are coming off a stunning one-point loss to the Fijian Drua.


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