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Blues player ratings vs Reds | Super Rugby Pacific

By Finn Morton
(Photo by Albert Perez/Getty Images)

The Blues returned to winning ways on Friday night, but it may have come at a cost with star playmaker Beauden Barrett limping off the field early in the second half.

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Playing against the Queensland Reds at Suncorp Stadium, the Blues were looking to bounce back from their disappointing loss to the Crusaders in Christchurch last weekend.

Following 20-minutes of back-and-forth rugby, Blues fullback Zarn Sullivan scored the first try of the contest – courtesy of some brilliance from Beauden Barrett.

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But, while the Blues continued to stamp their authority on the contest, it wasn’t all good news for the Auckland-based franchise. Barrett left the field early in the second-half, although was seen later in the broadcast smiling on the sidelines.

At the end of the 80 minutes, the Blues had earned an emphatic 26-45 win over the home side in Brisbane. Here’s how the Blues rated.

  1. Zarn Sullivan – 7.5/10

Fullback Zarn Sullivan scored the Blues’ opening try of the contest midway through the first half, and was otherwise a solid option out the back for the Auckland-based franchise. But, for periods of the match at least, the outside back just seemed to go missing a little bit.

  1. Mark Telea – 8.5

Whether you consider Mark Telea’s stat line or not, there was a pretty clear player of the match on Friday night. Telea was a man on a mission – running riot whenever he got his hands on the ball. After 80 minutes of entertaining rugby, Telea had run for 161 meters off 15 carries.

The All Blacks and Blues winger also crossed for a try late in the contest.

  1. Bryce Heem – 8

Blues centre Bryce Heem was reliable on both sides of the ball. Whether it was making hard-hitting tackles or creating some chaos in attack, Heem was a more than handy replacement for usual No. 13 Rieko Ioane.

Heem ran the ball seven times for 54 metres, made one clean break, beat three defenders and also made nine tackles. Overall, a very solid outing from the Blues midfielder.

  1. Harry Plummer – 7.5

When Beauden Barrett went off injured early in the second half – spoiler alert for those who are yet to read on – Plummer really stepped up and showed his class as a game driver for the Blues. The experienced playmaker led the Blues around the park with grace, skill and poise, and also made his mark on the defensive side of the ball.

  1. AJ Lam – 7.5

Blues winger AJ Lam had a stellar first half against the Reds, but his night was unfortunately cut short just after the break. Following a sensational opening 40, which included more than 100 running metres from seven carries, Lam was helped from the field about two minutes into the second term.

  1. Beauden Barrett – 8

More than 5,000,000 New Zealanders held their breath in unison on Friday evening as star playmaker Beauden Barrett limped from the field early in the second half against the Reds. With less than four months to go until this year’s Rugby World Cup, the uncertainty surrounding the severity of the incident is damming.

Unfortunately for Barrett, after weeks of criticism and scrutiny, the All Black had found some surreal form during the opening 50 minutes or so of the round 13 clash. Barrett set up Zarn Sullivan’s try with a brilliant short ball to Cameron Suafoa, and crossed for one of his own shortly after. The two-time World Rugby Player of the Year showed glimpses of his best – it’s just a shame how it ended.

  1. Sam Nock – 6.5

This is a bit of a controversial rating, so I’ll start with the good. Nock held his own in the No. 9 jersey, as he both kicked and passed quick well – leading the Blues around the park in the process. But without a single run throughout his 79 minutes out in the middle, I can’t help but think that Nock wasn’t as effective as what he could’ve been.

  1. Jordan Lay – 7

Any front rower that stays on the field for 60 minutes deserve some praise. Lay was made to work against the Reds, and repaid the faith shown in him by making a serious impact around the grounds. Lay was reliable at the set-piece, and completed 100 per cent of his tackle attempts.

  1. Ricky Riccitelli – 7

Ricky Riccitelli is one of the most reliable players in the Blues squad. Time and time again, week after week, the Blues hooker continues to show up for his side – and Friday night’s trans-Tasman derby was no exception.

Not only was Riccitelli accurate at the lineout, as his five of his targets on the night, but the 28-year-old was also on a mission around the park. Again, the reliable Blues star was a menace on both sides of the ball – certainly making his mark by the time he was replaced.

  1. Marcel Renata – 7

Marcel Renata put in a solid shift at Suncorp Stadium. Especially on the defensive side of the ball, Renata was relentless – finishing with 100 per cent tackle accuracy from 11 attempts. The prop was also reliable at the set-piece, for the most part, but did give away a penalty for wheeling the scrum around the 13 minute mark.

  1. Patrick Tuipulotu – 8

Right from the get-go, there was something about Patrick Tuipulotu that impressed. From minute one, the captain led by example against the Reds. Early in the contest, the All Black was especially impressive with the ball-in-hand – going on a rampage, and wreaking havoc every time he touched the ball.

But as the match went on, the skipper continued to stamp his authority on the contest at the set-piece, and in defnece as well. Early in the second-half, Tuipulotu was even rewarded for his efforts with a five-pointer.

  1. Cameron Suafoa – 7

Without a doubt, Cameron Suafoa’s standout moment came midway through the first half when he helped set up Zarn Sullivan for the Blues’ opening try. Running off star playmaker Beauden Barrett, Suafoa ran a brilliant line, before drawing in defenders and getting the pass off to the try-scorer.

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Around the grounds, Suafoa was good without being great. The lock had some impactful moments, but it wasn’t his best performance in Blue – although it was far from terrible. Suafoa made all six of his tackle attempts, and also carried with purpose whenever he got his hands on the ball.

  1. Akira Ioane – 7.5

Back in the starting side this week, All Black Akira Ioane went missing a little bit against the Reds. To be fair, Ioane was a work horse on the defensive side of the ball – and probably spend a majority of his time in the dark areas of a rugby field.

Ioane finished with 14 tackles to his name, and also ran the ball seven times for 25 metres. A solid performance from the Test flanker, but it wasn’t his best.

  1. Adrian Choat – 7

Flanker Adrian Choat was especially impressive in defnece, finishing with the equal-most tackles out of any Blues player with 14. Choat just seemed to be in the middle of everything, and ran away with what appeared to be an abundance of energy. A solid knock from the Blues No. 7.

  1. Hoskins Sotutu – 7.5

Just like some of his teammates, All Blacks and Blues loose forward Hoskins Sotutu was good without being great on Friday night. Now, Sotutu has set quite a high bar for himself during his playing days – a 7.5 rating is certainly nothing to panic about ahead of the World Cup.

Sotutu just went missing a little bit, but when he was on, he was on. The No. 8 finished with 100 per cent tackle accuracy and also ran the ball eight times for 31 metres.

Replacements:

  1. Kurt Eklund – 7
  2. Joshua Fusitu’a – 6.5
  3. Nepo Laulala – 7
  4. James Tucker – 5.5
  5. Anton Segner – 6
  6. Taufa Funaki – 6
  7. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck – 6
  8. Jacob Ratumaitavuki-Kneepkens – 6.5
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1 Comment
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Andrew 392 days ago

"Back in the starting side this week, All Black Akira Ioane went missing a little bit against the Reds."
Typical. Tell us what we dont know....The man is not AB material

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