Blues pile on the points in romp over Waratahs
The Blues have now posted 98 points from two matches in an impressive start to the competition while the Waratahs have conceded 86.
WELLINGTON – Bryce Heem scored a hat-trick as a rampant Auckland Blues chalked up a 48-21, bonus-point victory in Super Rugby Trans-Tasman over the NSW Waratahs who slumped to a club record low in Auckland on Saturday.
The Blues have now posted 98 points from two matches in an impressive start to the competition while the Waratahs have conceded 86 and along the way extended their losing streak to 10 for the club's worst run of losses in Super Rugby.
It was by no means a perfect performance from the Blues but their aggressive running game and powerful outside backs proved decisive with Heem scoring three times, Rieko Ioane once and Heem also setting up a try to hardworking flanker Tom Robinson.
The Sydneysiders, champions in 2014, struggled with injuries, losing Izaia Perese before kick-off and seeing Max Douglas and Lalakai Foketi leave the field early as the Blues raced to a 15-0 lead.
Despite the setbacks they closed to within one point with two converted tries before discipline lapses and poor ball retention contributed to the Blues scoring again to lead 22-14 at the turn and then add 26 points in the second half.
Despite the high scoreline, following a 50-3 win over the Melbourne Rebels last week, Blues captain Robinson said his side still lacked consistency.
"We fell into that trap when we come out with a good start and then they fought back and we were into a dogfight," he said.
"We can't just come out here against these teams and think (consistency is going to happen).
"I don't think we quite earned it until that second half so it's a work on."
Waratahs skipper Jake Gordon said lapses of concentration let his side down.
"It's been the story of the year. We put ourselves in good positions, we had the Blues stretched at points and then errors around the breakdown, loose ball, and the Blues did a great job off turnovers," he said.
After an early Otere Black penalty and tries to Heem and Robinson, Angus Bell and Jake Gordon replied for the Waratahs before Kurt Eklund scored from a lineout drive for the Blues to go into the second half with an eight-point lead.
The Waratahs had a chance to close the gap to one point early in the second half but lost the ball from an attacking five-metre scrum.
From that error, the Blues responded with Ioane's try from turnover ball followed by a penalty try.
After David Porecki scored a third try for the Waratahs, Heem closed out the game with two further touchdowns for the Blues.