July 27, 2020

Match Report | Determined Gallagher Chiefs held off by Blues

A determined Gallagher Chiefs finish was unable to hold off the Blues as the Blues keep their Investec Super Rugby Aotearoa title hopes with a 21-17 win over the Gallagher Chiefs at Eden Park.

A theme of Investec Super Rugby Aotearoa has been tight contests and big crowds and it was no different at Eden Park with over 33,000 in attendance and a game that was in the balance right until the closing moments.

The large crowd didn’t have to wait long to find their voice when fullback Matt Duffie sliced through the Gallagher Chiefs line for the opening try in just the fourth minute.

While that try may have come a little too easy for the Gallagher Chiefs liking, there was nothing easy about the remaining 75th minutes as both teams played out a bruising encounter that culminated in a grandstand finish on the Blues line.

With Pita Gus Sowakula brought down just inches short of the line, replacement Blues lock Josh Goodhue forced a crucial penalty when he got over the top of the ball and Sowakula was pinged for not releasing.

It was a massive moment and one that encapsulated the resilience and never say die attitude that the Blues have developed in 2020.

The win moves the Blues to second on the ladder on 17 points, just two points behind the Crusaders.

For the Gallagher Chiefs it was a disappointing seventh loss in a row. They now have the chance to play spoilers when they host the table-topping Crusaders in Hamilton next Saturday. Meanwhile, the Blues travel to the deep south to take on the Highlanders at Forsyth-Barr Stadium.

Blues 21: (Matt Duffie, Patrick Tuipulotu, Finlay Christie tries, Beauden Barrett 3 con) Gallagher Chiefs 17: (Lachlan Boshier, Solomon Alaimalo tries, Damian McKenzie 2 con, pen)
HT: 14-7

Match Report | Determined Gallagher Chiefs held off by Blues