Blues too strong for wonky Waratahs - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Blues too strong for wonky Waratahs

By Melissa Woods 22/02/2003 05:55:39 AM Comments (0)

The Blues confirmed their status as one of the Super 12 title favourites with a 31-18 drubbing of the NSW Waratahs at Aussie Stadium.

NSW didn't lose at "Our House", as they have dubbed the Sydney ground, until the semi-finals last year but the Blues made themselves right at home, taking the lead in the sixth minute which they held until the fulltime hooter.

The Waratahs fought back as the clock wound down, scoring two tries within two minutes but Blues reserve David Gibson sealed the result with a try in the final minute.

As well as the disappointing result, the Waratahs finished the game with a number of injury concerns after the physical encounter.

Fullback Mat Rogers and halfback Chris Whitaker both received heavy head knocks and spent time in the bloodbin while a number of others were on the end of some bruising defence.

The weather even worked in the Blues' favour - rain in the first half and greasy conditions which continually troubled the Waratahs, who have hardly seen a drop during the dry Sydney summer.

Made up of players from the NPC-winning Auckland outfit, the Blues have been touted as title contenders and with flying wingers Rupeni Caucaunibuca and Joe Rokocoko leading the charge, they lived up to that reputation.

Fijian sevens star Caucaunibuca crossed twice while 19-year-old Rokocoko, making his Super 12 debut, also touched down.

In an eventful first half, three players were sent to the sinbin.

NSW skipper Matt Burke was first to go, 14 minutes into the half, for a high tackle on Blues flanker Justin Collins with the tryline beckoning.

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