Latham gives Auckland the blues - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Latham gives Auckland the blues

By Jim Morton 13/03/2004 10:53:35 PM Comments (0)

Inspirational Queensland fullback Chris Latham almost single-handedly sent the Auckland Blues from the Super 12 penthouse to the outhouse at Ballymore.

Latham scythed through for two brilliant individual tries and set up another for Wendell Sailor as the Reds scored a 20-3 victory over a bumbling Blues outfit.

The injury-riddled Aucklanders, known for their attacking enterprise, failed to score a try without playmaker Carlos Spencer as the Queensland defence held firm throughout.

"It doesn't get much better than that," said buoyed Reds coach Jeff Miller of his team's character and defence.

The spirited Queenslanders' self-belief grew immensely throughout the second half as they forged ahead despite the loss of captain Elton Flatley (head knock).

While Miller paid tribute his side's character, rushing defence and the aggressive Daniel Heenan, he could not be more glowing than in his assessment of his fullback.

"Latho had an unbelievable game," he said.

Not only did Latham have a hand in all three tries, his defence and audacious counter-attack was sublime.

Almost lured to Ireland last year before staying largely due to his "love of Ballymore", he celebrated hard in front of the hill patrons when sealing the match in the 72nd minute with his second try.

"That's why I stayed - I said it at the end of last year and I said it again at the start of this year," said Latham, who overcame a hamstring injury to play.

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