Blues defeat Bulls 32-17 in Super 14 - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Blues defeat Bulls 32-17 in Super 14

03/04/2010 06:45:20 PM Comments (0)

Isaia Toeava and Joe Rokocoko scored tries and five-eighth Stephen Brett kicked 22 points as the Auckland Blues ended the Bulls' 12-match unbeaten run with a 32-17 victory on Saturday.

The Bulls were unbeaten in six matches this season, in addition to a six-match streak on the way to the Super 14 title last year.

The Pretoria-based team had not beaten the Blues in Auckland in 14 years, and lost the chance to equal the Canterbury Crusaders' record of 13 straight Super rugby wins.

The Blues led 16-11 after a first half in which the lead changed hands five times, but the home side played with more control and authority in the second half.

"We knew we had to step our game up to have any chance of winning," Blues captain Keven Mealamu said. "Every single player stepped up tonight and we played some great football."

Alhough Auckland had a huge advantage of possession, its defence was the crucial element of its victory Saturday.

They competed superbly at breakdowns and it shut down the Bulls' dangerous attacking game.

The Blues also forced crucial breakdown turnovers which allowed it to maintain its territorial advantage and keep the Bulls pinned in their own half through most of the match.

"They played awesomely. They beat us at the breakdown and they dominated at the contact points," Bulls captain Victor Matfield said.

"It was a great game from them but we'll come out next week and we'll win again."

No.8 Pierre Spies scored the first try of the match, stretching out over his head while lying on his back to ground the ball in the 25th minute, giving the Bulls a short-lived 8-6 lead.

A try to Toeava close to halftime let the Blues take a 16-11 lead into halftime and they never gave up their advantage.

Rokocoko score in the 62nd minute after an unwise decision by the Bulls to take a quick lineout in defence. Brett's kicking otherwise allowed Auckland to stay in front through the last 45 minutes of the match.

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