Blues beat Cheetahs 26-8 in Super 14 - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Blues beat Cheetahs 26-8 in Super 14

06/04/2007 07:44:41 PM Comments (0)

The Blues comfortably beat the Cheetahs at Eden Park in Auckland, stretching their Super 14 rugby lead and coasting closer to a semi-final berth.

The 26-8 win was the Blues' sixth in a row and their eighth from nine games in the competition and means they will be all but guaranteed a semi-final spot if they win just one more of their remaining four round robin games.

The Cheetahs were staunch in defence but ran themselves ragged as the game progressed and succumbed to pressure from backline attacks from the Blues.

In form Blues centre Isaia Toeava showed his class early on when he broke the defensive line and fired an inside pass for halfback Steve Devine to score the game's first points.

The Cheetahs worked hard to stay within eight points of the Blues until just before halftime when Blues winger Doug Howlett scored his 59th Super try in his 100th match for the Blues to make it 16-3 at the break.

But the Cheetahs were further demoralised only minutes into the second half by the attacking Blues side.

A loose lineout ball in Blues territory was picked up and delivered to Toeava, who smashed at speed through two tacklers in a move that ended in a flying sideline run and try from winger Anthony Tuitavake.

First five-eighth Isa Nacewa also added to the points tally with three penalties and a conversion.

The Cheetahs had scoring chances in the second half but were frustrated by handling errors and stifling Blues defence.

They did, however, get a deserved consolation in the final minute courtesy of a pushover try by replacement flanker Ryno van der Merwe.

A fired-up Ali Williams and fellow All Black Keven Mealamu got successfully through their time on the field in what was their first Super 14 game of the year since being rested as part of the All Blacks reconditioning program.

Winger Joe Rokocoko also returned from an ankle injury to play the last 20-minutes, but didn't see much ball.

The Blues likely have a home semi on their wish list and would have been slightly disappointed at not being able to secure a bonus point by scoring a fourth try.

They can expect a tough test against the Sharks in Auckland next weekend and then play away to the Stormers, Bulls and Force in their remaining round robin games.

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