Hertford Highlander

Match Report – Blues dedicate Highlanders victory to Haiu

Written by Gwyn Pratley (Hertford Highlander)

Posted in :All Blacks, In the news, Super Rugby on 29 Apr 2011 at 23:02
Tagged with : , , , , , ,

Sportal.co.nz reports Blues captain Keven Mealamu dedicated Friday night’s victory over the Highlanders at Carisbrook to lock forward Kurtis Haiu.

Haiu revealed earlier this week that he was about to undergo treatment for bone cancer and would be out of rugby indefinitely.

“That one was for Kurty,” Mealamu said after the Blues’ 15-10 win enabled them to retain the Gordon Hunter Memorial Trophy and to extend their lead at the top of the New Zealand Super conference.

It was the Blues’ sixth consecutive win and it was a victory founded on percentage rugby, rock-solid defence and the accurate boot of Luke McAlister, who kicked all the Blues’ points.

“If you play a lot in your own half against a team like that, they can sting you,” Mealamu said. “We ended up with a good result and you’ve got to take your territory against a team like this.

“We’re just working away, one week at a time, we’re working hard and we’re getting some good rewards.”

While the Blues stuck to the basics, the Highlanders fell down in their discipline and played too much of the game in their own territory.

They conceded six penalties within kicking distance and they conceded two yellow cards, lock Jarrad Hoeata just before halftime and replacement halfback Aaron Smith near the end of the second for a dangerous tackle on opposite Toby Morland.

Highlanders’ captain Jamie Mackintosh lamented the lapses in discipline which proved so costly in the final analysis.

Ironically, the Highlanders played their best rugby in the 10 minutes at the start of the second spell when Hoeata was off the field and the Highlanders were down to 14 men.

It was then that Robbie Robinson scored the only try of the match and that the Highlanders threatened the Blues’ line at other times as they threw caution to the winds and launched all-out attack.

Highlanders’ first five-eighth Tony Brown left the field near the end of the first quarter with an injured left knee while McAlister limped off near the end with an ankle injury.

Both will be assessed at the weekend.

The Blues, who now have 43 points, will play the Hurricanes in Wellington next Friday.

The Highlanders, whose losing bonus point took their tally to 35, will face the Chiefs in Hamilton next Saturday.

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