Sharks too strong for under-siege Blues

NZ Newswire April 13, 2012, 9:31 pm

The under-siege Blues battled hard but stumbled to their sixth loss from seven games in Super Rugby, falling 29-23 to the Sharks at Eden Park in Auckland on Friday.

Two intercept tries to the South Africans inside the first 20 minutes meant the Blues were playing catch-up for much of the first half and, although they took the lead briefly in the second spell, the Sharks' superior finishing saw them home.

It took barely two minutes before the home team conceded, Sharks lock Steven Sykes crossing in the corner after captain and No.8 Keegan Daniel snapped up a loose pass inside his own 22m with the Blues hot on attack.

The Blues fought back but the Sharks defence held firm, holding out a series of attacks as handling errors continued to plague the home team.

Down 8-0 after 15 minutes, things just got worse for the Blues when Sharks hooker Craig Burden showed a useful turn of speed to sprint 50m after grabbing a loose pass from Blues flanker Chris Lowrey.

The conversion put the visitors up 15-0, but the under-siege Blues recovered well.

A Gareth Anscombe penalty put them on the board, then some good field position and a strong scrum put All Blacks prop Tony Woodcock over after 33 minutes.

Anscombe's boot continued to close the gap and the Blues went into the halftime break trailing 13-15, a deficit they turned around two minutes after the restart when Benson Stanley pounced on a loose Sharks' clearance from a defensive scrum.

The try and conversion put the Blues ahead 20-15, but only briefly as some strong running from the Sharks and good support play gave well-constructed tries to Daniel and second five-eighth Tim Whitehead within three minutes.

Anscombe put the Blues to within six with a 66th minute penalty, but they couldn't string together enough phases to break through the Sharks' solid defensive screen.

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  1. Reg04:21pm Saturday 14th April 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    No mention of the Auck's scrum deliberately not contesting, that resulted in a try to the Blues. However its becoming more difficult to commit a professional foul - something that has won the Blues many games in the past.. I don't recall this much debate last year when (I think) Otago was at the bottom. I guess the Aucks think they are better than others - Yeah right! Maybe each other team should give the Blues their best player for the year. After all the rest of the country is always propping up Auckland with money i.e. the Eden Park extensions, WC Party Central etc.

  2. Frankmeister01:21pm Saturday 14th April 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    Bigots and racists can just crawl back to the sewer. I am not a big fan of Pat Lam either, good player in his day, but a coach who seems to have lost his way in terms of innovation and development. Tactics and strategies from a season or two ago doesn't cut it anymore and picking up 'former' players aren't helping. Good luck all the same and try to salvage something from 2012!

  3. 01:16pm Saturday 14th April 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    Look at the canes they got rid of some trouble making darkies and now they are playing the best rugby they have played in years.

  4. Courageous12:24pm Saturday 14th April 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    All i can say is that being a blues fan, this team is an embarassment! of epic proportions, if super 15 is supposed to be proffessional then it has to hit hard, starting from the top. Pat Lam needs to be sacked, not because of his ethnicity but because his results are poor. This is what would happen in NBA or NFL if a team was performing poorly as is the blues.

  5. Anada11:51am Saturday 14th April 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    So if Steve Walsh got it right the Blues would have won. mmmmmmmmmmm, anybody want to comment about his race --------------------I didn't think so!! White man do no wrong

  6. Anada11:39am Saturday 14th April 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    It's got nothing to do with race, but if you want my opinion, the white man also brought rats disease syphilis and the rest.

    1 Reply
  7. Russell11:25am Saturday 14th April 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    pacific boy black blokes came here to in boatsTOO (immigrants) the pleasures you enjoy to day are what the white fellas brought here

  8. Russell11:21am Saturday 14th April 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    2nd, 5.. 8 white guys are not scared to play rugby , maybe they dont wont some one crutching them in scrums ,rucks and mauls or maybe they have the brains to see its a silly game or maybe they dont want to be involved with a sport that has racism in it through the nz maori team .,

  9. Anada11:19am Saturday 14th April 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    Some off the comments show how uneducated some of you are. It's got nothing to do with ethnicity, it's the skill of the player and the coach to motivate, unfortunately the Blues are going through a rough patch and it would be good to hear some intelligent feedback intead of all this race rubbish.

  10. Allan11:05am Saturday 14th April 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    I watched all super 15 games and now i watch the chiefs and crusaders no matter the score it is always a good game. I now think there is to much super 15 games and people are getting tried of itat least i am. We need more with all blacks playing the likes of wales who have inproved a lot. I am getting tried of watching south Africa and Australia all the time. I live in the Waikato.