30 Mar 2024

Blues blow Moana away in battle of Eden

6:42 pm on 30 March 2024
Finlay Christie dives to score a try for the Blues in his side's win over Moana Pasifika at Eden Park.

Finlay Christie dives to score a try for the Blues in his side's win over Moana Pasifika at Eden Park. Photo: Photosport

The Blues have made it clear that Eden Park is their house.

Playing 'away' to fellow Auckland-based Moana Pasifika, the Blues bullied their little brothers to romp home 47-8.

A Mark Tele'a hat-trick sealed the emphatic win for the Blues, their fifth of the season.

Blues loose forward Akira Ioane told Sky Sport it was crucial they backed up after last week's win over the Crusaders.

"We talked about the whole week that we can't get complacent and we knew this game wasn't going to be easy, a lot of our brothers we grew up playing with."

Ioane admitted their execution was lacking at times.

"We are a team that likes to play a lot and sometimes that can be our downfall."

Moana midfielder Julian Savea said poor discipline and conceding too many turnovers cost his side dearly.

"We give the ball to these guys with the attacking power they have and, well you see the scoreboard."

The first try came in slightly sloppy fashion, Bryce Heem cleaning up a poor pass before floating it wide to an unmarked Mark Tele'a on the wing.

Mark Tele’a bagged a hat-trick in the rout.

Mark Tele’a bagged a hat-trick in the rout. Photo: Photosport

Stephen Perofeta struck next as Finlay Christie put him through a gaping hole to streak away under the sticks.

Caleb Clarke then showcased his speed, skinning the Moana cover after Hoskins Sotutu broke through some feeble defence on halfway.

Moana continued to leak points and miss tackles, Heem bursting his way through two poor attempts for the Blues' fourth.

A determined run from the back by Danny Toala finally got Moana on the board, shrugging off Anton Segner with skipper Sione Havili scooping up the bounce pass to crash over.

Moana conceded a penalty right on halftime as the Blues took a commanding 28-8 lead.

Christie kept the points coming in the second, running the textbook halfback support line off Cole Fobes to score a fifth for the Blues.

After some desperate defence to repel a strong attack, Moana eventually were unable to hold on as Tele'a cut through for his second.

Forbe's strong impact off the pine continued as he spotted an acre of space in front of him and kicked ahead, leading the chase to trap Willy Havili over his own line.

The Blues would ice the cake with another breakout, Sotutu ending the final pass as Tele'a strolled over for his third.


Blues 47 (Tele'a 3, Perofeta, Clarke, Heem, Christie, tries, Perofeta 6 cons)

Moana 8 (Havili, tries, Leali'ifano 1 pen)