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Rampant Blues put Force to the sword


Blues 32 Force 9

Dropping the shoulder ... Ma'a Nonu charges into the Force's Napolioni Nalaga.

Dropping the shoulder ... Ma'a Nonu charges into the Force's Napolioni Nalaga. Photo: Getty Images

The injury-hit Western Force slumped to their 12th loss of the Super Rugby season as the Blues finally found their attacking mojo in a dominant 32-9 bonus-point triumph at Auckland's Eden Park on Saturday.


The Force, already without star back row trio Matt Hodgson, David Pocock and Ben McCalman, lost stand-in skipper Nathan Sharpe before the game due to a back injury, while inside centre Winston Stanley dislocated his shoulder in the second half.

Galloping ... Luke Braid breaks away from a Force defender.

Galloping ... Luke Braid breaks away from a Force defender. Photo: Getty Images

Despite the lack of first-choice talent, the Force trailed by just four points at half-time, before the Blues ran in 19 unanswered points in the second half to secure just their third win of the year.

All Blacks centre Ma'a Nonu notched his 100th first-class try in the rout, while flanker Steven Luatua, fullback Charles Piutau and No.7 Luke Braid also crossed for the Blues.

Force five-eighth Ben Seymour nailed three first-half penalties, but the visitors failed to add to that after half-time.

The Blues' win lifted them above the Force into 13th spot on the table.

The Force led 6-3 after 24 minutes following two early penalties to Seymour and winger Napolioni Nalaga did well to put his body on the line to deny Nonu a try in the 28th minute.

But Nalaga couldn't repeat his defensive heroics when flanker Luatua barged over in the 30th minute.

Seymour kicked his third penalty of the night nearing halftime, but the Blues took a 13-9 lead into the break when winger Lachie Munro hit back with a three-pointer of his own after the siren.

The Blues entered the match having lost 10 of their past 11 matches, but looked anything but a side bereft of confidence in the second half as their running game finally clicked.

The Force battled valiantly to defend the attacking raids, but their defensive wall eventually cracked badly as the likes of Nonu ran riot.

Force centre Will Tupou could find himself in some strife for a lifting tackle on Blues lock Andrew Van der Heijden in the first half.

The Force finish their season with a tough match against the Crusaders in New Zealand next Saturday.

BLUES 32 (Luke Braid, Steven Luatua, Ma’a Nonu, Charles Piutau tries Lachie Munro 3 cons 2 pens) bt WESTERN FORCE 9 (Ben Seymour 3 pens) at Eden Park. Referee: Andrew Lees.


HuffPost Australia

Rugby World Cup 2015

Round 1
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG 35vs FJI 11 Report Stats
TGA 10vs GEO 17 Report Stats
IRE 50vs CAN 7 Report Stats
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 32vs JPN 34 Report Stats
FRA 32vs ITA 10 Report Stats
SAM 25vs USA 16 Report Stats
WAL 54vs URU 9 Report Stats
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 26vs ARG 16 Report Stats
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 45vs JPN 10 Report Stats
Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
AUS 28vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 38vs ROM 11 Report Stats
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 58vs NAM 14 Report Stats
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 54vs GEO 9 Report Stats
ITA 23vs CAN 18 Report Stats
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 46vs SAM 6 Report Stats
ENG 25vs WAL 28 Report Stats
AUS 65vs URU 3 Report Stats
SCO 39vs USA 16 Report Stats
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 44vs ROM 10 Report Stats
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 35vs NAM 21 Report Stats
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 23vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 41vs CAN 18 Report Stats
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 43vs GEO 10 Report Stats
SAM 5vs JPN 26 Report Stats
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 34vs SCO 16 Report Stats
ENG 13vs AUS 33 Report Stats
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 45vs TGA 16 Report Stats
IRE 16vs ITA 9 Report Stats
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 15vs ROM 17 Report Stats
FJI 47vs URU 15 Report Stats
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 0vs USA 0 02:45The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
NAM 0vs GEO 0 06:00Sand
Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
NZL 0vs TGA 0 06:00St James' Park
Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAM 0vs SCO 0 00:30St James' Park
AUS 0vs WAL 0 02:45Twic
ENG 0vs URU 0 06:00Manch
ARG 0vs NAM 0 22:00Leicester City Stadium
Mon, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
ITA 0vs ROM 0 00:30Sand
FRA 0vs IRE 0 02:45MilS
USA 0vs JPN 0 06:00Kholm
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinB 0vs RUpA 0 02:00Twic
WinC 0vs RUpD 0 06:00MilS
WinD 0vs RUpC 0 23:00MilS
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinA 0vs RUpB 0 02:00Twic
Sun, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF1 0vs WQF2 0 02:00Twic
Mon, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF3 0vs WQF4 0 03:00Twic
Sat, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
LSF1 0vs LSF2 0 07:00The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Sun, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
WSF1 0vs WSF2 0 03:00Twic
View All Fixtures
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 3 3 0 0 97 13
Wales 3 3 0 0 58 13
England 3 1 2 0 1 6
Fiji 4 1 3 0 -17 5
Uruguay 3 0 3 0 -139 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
South Africa 3 2 1 0 56 11
Scotland 3 2 1 0 40 10
Japan 3 2 1 0 -12 8
Samoa 3 1 2 0 -52 4
USA 2 0 2 0 -32 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
New Zealand 3 3 0 0 87 14
Argentina 3 2 1 0 64 10
Tonga 3 1 2 0 -22 6
Georgia 3 1 2 0 -71 4
Namibia 2 0 2 0 -58 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Ireland 3 3 0 0 84 14
France 3 3 0 0 72 14
Italy 3 1 2 0 -24 5
Romania 3 1 2 0 -59 4
Canada 4 0 4 0 -73 2
View all

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