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Blues too good in Auckland

Fifteen points from Simon Hickey and tries from three different players allowed the Blues to see off the Highlanders 30-12 on Saturday.

Emerging fly-half Hickey nailed three conversions and three penalties to make up his haul in Auckland, as his side kept a tight defensive line to get the win.

They did not have it all their own way early on, but once they got ahead for a second time before the intevrval there was no going back.

The Blues did score first with a 10th-minute try from George Moala, who was in the right place to collect a kick that bounced all over the place and left the Highlanders' cover stranded.

Hickey tagged the goal before Highlanders' kicker Lima Sopoaga took over, slotting three penalties in a 14-minute spell to put his side in front.

Hickey returned the Blues to the front with a penalty for obstruction, though, and then, with five minutes of the half to go, Bryn Hall sliced through and was stopped before Ma'a Nonu touched down on the next cycle. Hickey again converted for a 17-9 lead.

That became 20-9 after the restart before Sopoaga nailed a long-range three-pointer to keep his side in touch.

Hopes were put out in the 48th minute, though, as Charles Piutau converted good work from Nonu into a try, with Hickey again upgrading the score.

Another Hickey penalty kept the scoreboard moving and, despite late pressure from the Highlanders, that was enough for the Blues to get home.


From Belfast Telegraph