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Blues overcome early scare to score 11 tries and thrash Melbourne Rebels

By AAP
(Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

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Melbourne have been given an attacking lesson by the Super Rugby Pacific front-running Blues, who delivered a 71-28 thrashing in Auckland.

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The Blues scored seven tries in the first half on Friday night to race to an unassailable 47-14 lead, with All Blacks back-rower Akira Ioane terrorising the Rebels to bag a double.

And they did it without star All Blacks playmaker Beauden Barrett, who was rested, with youngster Stephen Perofeta at 10.

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Aotearoa Rugby Pod | Episode 12
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While the Blues went into the match on top of the ladder with just one loss, the Rebels were in eighth place with their eye on the finals.

But that appears dead in the water with the scoreline likely putting a major dent in their points differential.

The 11-try tally just fell short of the Blues’ record of 74 points, set back in 1998.

Melbourne couldn’t have got off to a better start, with prop Pone Fa’amausili barging over for a second-minute try after a Blues lineout went awry.

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And they made it 14-0 by the fifth minute when a pass by Blues halfback Finlay Christie after another lineout was intercepted by young Rebels lock Josh Canham.

But the rest of the half was one-way traffic as the Blues sent wave after wave of attack at the Rebels, making easy metres over the advantage line.

Ioane scored his two tries within six minutes with the first coming after fellow All Black Hoskins Sotutu sent a long ball out to his flanker.

Christie, lock James Tucker, Sotutu and Ioane’s younger brother Rieko all crossed before Mark Telea capped the stunning half.

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The winger pulled off a spectacular dive to plant the ball in the corner with superboot Perofeta missing just one conversion in the half.

The Rebels lost Wallabies winger Andrew Kellaway early in the half but it was unclear if it was due to injury.

Rieko Ioane matched his brother with his second try in the 51st minute and then went one better, completing his hat-trick in the 63rd minute for a 66-14 scoreline.

Melbourne crossed for two consolation tries through flanker Brad Wilkin and fullback Reece Hodge but it was still a game they’d rather forget.

Blues 71 (Tries to Akira Ioane (2), Finlay Christie, James Tucker, Hoskins Sotutu, Rieko Ioane (3), Mark Telea, Stephen Perofeta and Caleb Clarke; 8 conversions to Perofeta)

Rebels 28 (Tries to Pone Fa’amausili, Josh Canham, Brad Wilkin and Reece Hodge; 2 conversions to Carter Gordon, 2 conversions to Hodge)

– Melissa Woods

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