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Mealamu loses in milestone match

Hooker Keven Mealamu was left disappointed after making Super Rugby history as his Blues side suffered a 13-10 defeat to the Lions at North Harbour stadium.

The 35-year-old New Zealand international made a record 163rd appearance in the competition - taking him past retired Australian lock Nathan Sharpe's 162-match total - before receiving a standing ovation when he was subbed off.

The 123-Test All Black took to the pitch for 45 minutes for his first match of the season having been rested in the previous three rounds as the Blues sit bottom of the pile in the standings after four defeats.

The win for the Lions was their first this term as they saw off the dominant Blues side thanks to Ruan Combrinck's try with 18 minutes remaining, putting the visitors ahead for the first time as they held on for the points.

Blues went ahead through a Ihaia West penalty and - after flyhalf Elton Jantjies replied with one of his own for the Lions - Jerome Kaino drove over the line for the first try of the match.

West added the conversion to hand the hosts a 10-3 half-time lead.

The Lions came out strongest after the break and Jantjies scored a penalty to double their score and reduce the deficit to four points.

The hosts failed to break down the Lions defence and Combrinck ran onto a long floated pass from Jantjies after a break from replacement Faf de Klerk to cross over.

Jantjies fired over the conversion from the touchline adding to his two penalties which put the Lions into a three-point lead that they held on to for their maiden triumph of the campaign.


From Belfast Telegraph