Blues defence denies the Chiefs a late winner

Blues defence denies the Chiefs a late winner

Another Super Rugby Aotearoa game, another thrilling encounter that was decided in the final moments of the game as Warren Gatland's Chiefs lose their seventh straight game.

The Blues get back to winning ways with Beauden Barrett leading the side to victory in his first start in the 10 jersey for the Blues with the home side edging out a 21-17 victory over the struggling Chiefs.

The Blues' defence proved to be the difference with the Auckland-based side managing to keep the door well and truly shut in the dire moments of the game. 

The victory sees the Blues return to winning ways after a loss to the Crusaders last week. An entertaining game saw both sides employ expansive running game-plans which produced yet another entertaining New Zealand derby filled with drama and plenty of thrilling action.

The Blues was down to tries from the likes of fullback Matt Duffie, captain and lock Patrick Tuipulotu, scrumhalf Finlay Christie and six points from the boot of Beauden Barrett while Lachlan Boshier add to his try from last week with another today and Solomon Alaimolo crossed the whitewash for the Chiefs with Damian McKenzie kicking two conversions and a penalty.

The Blues raced out of the blocks quickest dotting down twice in the opening 15 minutes with Matt Duffie slicing through the defence from a great set-piece move before Patrick Tuipulotu surged over the line for the second.

Beauden Barrett was accurate from the tee slotting all of his attempts on goal as the Blues took a 14-point lead.

In form Chiefs' flanker Lachlan Boshier got one back for the visitors as he went over after a lineout as the Blues lead 14-7 at half-time.

Aaron Cruden was injected into the fray at the break and made an immediate impact setting up a try just six minutes into the second half as he received an offload from Brad Weber on the blindside of the scrum. He threw a dummy and sped into a gap before offloading to Anton Liernert-Brown who put Solomon Alaiamalo into the corner.

Alaimalo would depart the pitch after suffering an injury while scoring. McKenzie slotted the conversion and put the Chiefs in the lead 50 minutes in with a penalty but the lead would not last long.

Blues scrumhalf Finlay Christie darted over from close range after Beauden Barrett almost sped over the line with the latter adding the easy extras to make it 21-17 with 24 minutes to play.

From there it was an arm wrestle for possession and territory and the Chiefs looked as if they were going to steal it in the dying moments of the game.

The Chiefs came close with Alex Nankivell unable to dot down after a cross-kick but the Chiefs did have the advantage and went to the line. Once again they were boxed out as the Blues conceded another penalty with Harry Plummer going to the bin for his infringement.

The Chiefs decided to take a quick tap and were inches away from scoring before reserve lock Josh Goodhue won a penalty in the final minute of the game and Otere Black punted the penalty into touch.

The Blues won the resulting lineout and punted the ball into touch to seal the victory and go above the Hurricanes on the Super Rugby Aotearoa log. 

The Crusaders still lead the way after suffering their first defeat at home since 2016 with 19 points with the Blues trailing by two and the Hurricanes by three in third place. 

The Blues face the Highlanders, who were on a bye this week, next with Chiefs hosting the Crusaders. 

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