Blues overcome spirited Force

The Blues managed to decipher a sturdy Force defence to claim a 24-15 victory in Auckland on Saturday.

Most of the first half consisted of a Blues side desperate to break the Western Force defence only to be unable to find a way through, before the Perth side claimed the first try through Richie Arnold.

The Blues eventually unlocked the code and tries from Akira Ioane and Matt Duffie during a Isi Naisarani yellow card on the 29th minute seemed to be the deciding points.

The win gives the Blues a boost as they go to third place in New Zealand Conference table with 15 points to tie with the Hurricanes with the Wellington men yet to play. The Force languish at fourth place in the Australia Conference on five points.

Despite the hard-fought contest the Blues had too much class in their ranks with Piers Francis orchestrating the Blues attack excellently as well as superb performances from Duffie and replacements Akira Ioane and Rieko Ioane.

It was a quiet first twenty minutes with a Jono Lance penalty the only the points on the board but the Force would consolidate their lead later on with a try from giant second-rower Arnold, after he barged over the line from some sustained forwards pressure.

The Force lost their building momentum after a slew of penalties with the Blues opting to go for line each time. The first instance not resulting to anything of substance, but in the second the Blues created a handy maul and drove up field and after a sneaky break force number eight Naisarani was yellow carded and the home side opted to scrum.

After some strong defence from the Force the Blues shunted the ball wide and it looked as though winger Duffie had scored before it was called back after George Moala’s pass was deemed forward.