Blues outgun Highlanders to advance to Super Rugby Pacific semi-finals
The 2018 Dally M medallist was in sparkling touch and continued to push his case for All Blacks selection, creating a try for Beauden Barrett on 48 minutes before slashing through for his own on 69 minutes.
Despite losing hooker Andrew Makalio to a red card for a no-arms tackle in the 22nd minute, the Highlanders managed to keep the Blues at bay for the first half an hour of the contest, taking a 6-0 lead through two Marty Banks penalties.
Flanker Akira Ioane stormed over the line to get the Blues on the scoreboard in the 31st minute and soon afterwards a bit of magic from All Blacks flyhalf Barrett for a second converted try had the home side 14-6 ahead.
Barrett scored his second eight minutes into the second half after slick play from Tuivasa-Sheck and replacement winger AJ Lam.
Tuivasa-Sheck then used his blistering pace to cross as the Highlanders ran out of gas.
“You can never get comfortable against the ‘Landers, they are a side that always fights for the full 80 (minutes),” captain Barrett told Stan Sport.
“We took a bit of time to find our groove … but it’s great that we finally expressed ourselves and got used to playing our game again.”
The Blues’ semi-final is set for next Saturday night at Eden Park.
Highlanders 6 (2 penalties to Marty Banks)
Join free and tell us what you really think!Join Free