Talking Points - Blues vs Highlanders

Talking Points - Blues vs Highlanders

The Blues ended a 20 game winless streak against New Zealand opposition on Friday beating the Highlanders 33-26 at Eden Park. 

Power Scrum From Highlanders In 16th Minute

Almost 8 minutes after the Blues took the lead, the Highlanders struck back with an impressive scrum 5 metres from the try line. The Landers absolutely demolished the Blues and were close to getting a penalty try before Luke Whitelock flopped over the line.

Nanai Opens Up The Field For Ioane To Score His Second Try

Melani Nanai’s bit of brilliant individual skill got the Blues up the field in the 32nd minute and it allowed Rieko Ioane to score his second try of the game.

Nanai’s fancy footwork opened up the Highlanders defence and allowed his fellow backline players to do the rest.

The Influence Of Ben Smith

The All Black veteran was the Highlanders most influential player and especially in the first half of the game. The No. 15 carried the ball up field on 11 occasions and made a whopping 76 metres in the game. Smith also managed to beat six defenders in the match.

Rieko Ioane outshines Naholo

All Blacks winger Rieko Ioane had another outstanding outing for the Blues at Eden Park with the 22-year-old racking up 68 running metres, scoring two tries and beating 5 defenders. His opposite winger and All Black teammate Waisake Naholo had a much quieter game making just 30 running metres and struggled defensively missing 4 tackles. 

Naholo was also sent to the sin bin in the latter stages of the game for this tip tackle:

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