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Blues stride on as first Super Rugby Pacific finalist confirmed

BY Jack Tunney  ·  Friday Jun 14, 2024

The Blues have reached the Super Rugby Pacific final after beating the Brumbies 34-20 at Eden Park in front of an ecstatic home crowd. 

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This will be their second final in three years after falling just short to the Crusaders back in 2022. The Blues will be looking to emulate the winning team of 2003 as they aim for their first full league title in 21 years.

The home side came flying out of the blocks today as they took an early and comprehensive lead over their Aussie visitors, leading by 18 points after just 20 minutes. The boot of potential Wallaby ten, Noah Lolesio kept the travelling side in the occasion as the half drew to an end, but the Blues own Harry Plummer ensured that the deficit was never cut too short.

An improved second half saw the Brumbies ensure that the score line never truly got away from them, but the match was never theirs to win. Impressive performances from Rory Scott and Rob Valentini provided the Brumbies with a much needed foothold as they chased the game throughout, but the Blues dominance and cutthroat precision prevailed.

Final score: Blues 32-20 Brumbies.

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND – JUNE 14: Akira Ioane of the Blues celebrates with Mark Tele’a of the Blues after winning the Super Rugby Pacific Semi Final match between Blues and ACT Brumbies at Eden Park, on June 14, 2024, in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Blues stand-in captain Dalton Papali’i had the following to say about the upcoming final:

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“There’s a lot of old boys in this team and we’ve been together for so many years. We’ve been to two finals together. We lost one and won the other one. It means so much and we’ve got one more game to go.”

Brumbies captain Allan Alaalatoa pinned the result on the Blues impressive start:

“We weren’t clinical coming out of our end. We gave them three balls from our kickoff receipt and they made us pay through tries,” he said. “You can’t give a side like the Blues that ascendancy at the start of a game.”

The Hurricanes host the Chiefs tomorrow to decide which New Zealand side will face the Auckland based team in the grand final.

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