Rugby: Blues pip Highlanders

Blues' head Coach Sir John Kirwan (left) of the Blues and Highlanders assistant coach Scott McLeod watch tonight's match. Photo / Getty Images
Blues' head Coach Sir John Kirwan (left) of the Blues and Highlanders assistant coach Scott McLeod watch tonight's match. Photo / Getty Images

If there was a prototype going for a pre-season match then this was it.

Plenty of ball movement, a lot of errors and not much combination.

In what was not a great game of rugby, the Blues managed to pip the Highlanders 31-29 in Queenstown tonight, scoring a penalty to win the game in the final minute of the match.

The Highlanders came out half-asleep in the opening 40 minutes and were somewhat fortunate to still be in the game at the break, down 28-19.

Slowly in the second half, the home side warmed to their work and went ahead when Hosea Gear scored his third try with 15 minutes and it looked as though the Highlanders would get home.

But Baden Kerr managed to knock over a penalty in the final minute to give the Blues a victory.

Centre Rene Ranger looked good for the Blues in the half when he was on the field while flanker Luke Braid got through some work.

Big prop Charlie Faumuina was solid, as was skipper Ali Williams.

The Blues came out all pace and precision and were two tries up in eight minutes and the Highlanders had barely touched the ball but faded as their key players left the field.

Blues 31 (Culum Retallick, George Moala, Tom McCartney, Piri Weepu tries, Weepu 4 con; Baden Kerr pen).

Highlanders 29 (Hosea Gear 3, Jarrad Hoeata, Joe Wheeler tries; Hayden Parker 2 con).

Halftime: 28-19.

- Otago Daily Times

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