Stand Out Players - Highlanders v Blues

Stand Out Players - Highlanders v Blues

Forsyth Barr Stadium dished up a thriller as the Blues ran in 5 tries, their first win at the stadium, won the Gordon Hunter Memorial Trophy and were able to keep the pressure on the Crusaders. The Highlanders did not go down without a fight but they ran in to one of the best performances by the Blues this season. Controversial moments by Aaron Smith prevented two Blues tries but a huge team effort by the visitors sends them home with a bonus point win.

Caleb Clarke - Blues:

The form wingers in New Zealand rugby at the moment and he put in a dominant performance shower speed agility and power. 66 running meters, 3 defenders beaten and a try assist where just a few of his numerous contributions .

Tight Five - Blues:

The Blues put in a near perfect performance at scrum time and won 5 from 7 of their own line out's but the tight five really stood out in this performance. Tu'inukuafe, Eklund and Tu'ungafasi were dominant around the park 

Shannon Frizell - Highlanders:

Hardly a week goes by without Frizell putting in a top performance and against the Blues it was no different. 80 minutes, 10 tackles, 7 carries and a try.

Dalton Papli'i - Blues:

As with Frizell, Dalton Papali'i, seldom misses out on a Top Performers list or the Team of the Week and he was in fine form under the Forsyth Barr Roof. A mammoth 75m carried which in the last 10 years for the Blues has only been beaten by two other Blindside Flanks, Akira Ioane and Jerome Kaino. He had a tried controversially called back and was ever present.

Beauden Barrett - Blues:

Slightly wayward off the tee but his general play and attacking accuracy was clear for all to see as he guided his dominating pack and put his backs in space. A brilliant kick pass to Caleb Clarke and a long skip pass to Tony Lamborn both resulted in tries.

Finlay Christie - Blues:

Aaron Smith was his usual best, a nuisance and controversially involved in two disallowed tries for the visitors but Christie enjoyed a good outing scoring a brace tries and accurate distribution. He is slowly showing why he is keeping Sam Nock on the bench who made a good contribution off the bench too.

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