Super Rugby Pacific: Hurricanes finish top of the table as Blues denied bonus point

Josh Ioane has broken Blues’ hearts, with his last-minute try denying them a top of the table finish in Super Rugby Pacific.

The Blues needed a bonus point from their final round clash with the Hurricanes at Eden Park, and were on track until Ioane’s strike to end it 31-17.

The result will see the Blues finish second, handing the Hurricanes the minor premiership and hosting rights should they reach the final.

Hoskins Sotutu, who bagged a brace, told Sky Sport it was gutting to let in the final try.

“We want that full 80-minute performance to win the competition. We know our potential, we have just go do it.”

The first meeting between the two sides in 2024 showed a chasm in class, with the hosts running in five tries.

Skipper Patrick Tuipolotu was pleased with a victory, but said inconsistency was plaguing the team.

Caleb Clarke is tackled.

“Its not enough to have it in patches. We can be happy with the win but our goal was to win with the bonus point so that’s disappointing for us. We haven’t really hit our stride properly yet.”

It was a blistering start from the visitors, with Bradley Slater bursting through a hole to set the Chiefs alight, and Etene Nanai-Seturo then powering his way over in the corner.

However, TMO intervention scrubbed the try, an obstruction ruled to have created the Slater line break.

The Blues rubbed salt in the wound shortly after as Ricky Riccitelli rumbled over from a rolling lineout drive.

Things soon got worse for the Chiefs, with Aidan Ross sent to the sideline for 10 minutes after repeated infringements from his side.

The Blues made them pay immediately – Hoskins Sotutu continuing his try-scoring streak with the Blues’ second.

Damian McKenzie of the Chiefs attempts to tackle Harry Plummer.

Ross pulled one back fo the Chiefs before the break to see the sides go to the sheds at 12-7.

Mark Telea kicked things off in the second spell, the All Black winger showcasing his strength close to the chalk.

Sotutu’s second, making amends for a yellow card just before halftime, gave the hosts some much-needed breathing room.

The Blues looked to have cemented their spot at the top of the table when Akira Ioane got over the line, seemingly handing the Blues the much-needed bonus point.

However, the Chiefs struck back through Quinn Tupaea, a quick tap sending the midfielder through a yawning gap to put a scare through Eden Park.

The Chiefs were desperate to spoil the party, and Ioane did so in the 79th minute, to the dismay of Blues fans.


Blues 31 (Sotutu 2, Riccitelli, Telea, Ioane, tries, Plummer 3 cons)

Chiefs 12 (Ross, Tupaea. Ioane, tries, McKenzie 1 cons)

According to the news on Radio New Zealand

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