Chiefs Manawa resist Blues comeback attempts for Aupiki win

Sat, Mar 4

Some fancy footwork and a big first half has seen Chiefs Manawa keep the Blues at bay for an impressive 50-33 win in Auckland this afternoon.

Chiefs Manawa pounced on the numerous errors the Blues made throughout the match and made them pay, forging a 31-7 lead at halftime.

Luka Connor was the first to score for the visitors off the back of a maul before Georgia Daals ran in the first of her two tries in the 24th minute.

Mererangi Paul, who scored a hat-trick in the match, then crossed the line minutes later before shutting out the half with her second try while the Blues could only manage one try in reply through some pace from winger Jaymie Kolose.

The Blues appeared to be making a comeback after Maana Vaipulu scored twice in the space of six minutes to start the second half but a moment of sheer brilliance from Tenika Willison effectively ended the Aucklanders' hopes.

Georgia Daals runs in to score for Chiefs Manawa.

Willison appeared to have run out space down the left sideline as she looked to attack the Blues and was forced into a kick off her left boot before going out of bounds.

However, having managed to keep the ball in play, Willison then continued to chase the ball and by the slimmest of margins regathered it while making her way back into the field of play before throwing a pass back to Daals to run in her second try of the afternoon.

Blues players couldn't believe the moment but replays showed Willison's footwork was clean and the try was awarded.

The Blues added two more tries to Maia Roos and Kolose late in the contest but a reply from Grace Houpapa-Barrett near the final whistle sealed the result, leaving the Aucklanders winless after two rounds and the reigning champions undefeated.

In the other Super Rugby Aupiki contest of the day, Hurricanes Poua beat Matatū by just one-point in a 25-24 thriller.


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