My two cents on the game and where do I start.
Well how can you not go past Laumape's try after gassing Beaudy and running over Otere at the line. Fair play to Beauden hitting right back with an impressive surge under the posts.
The Hurricanes were quite dominant in the early stages of the game but they struggled to finish their chances through line breaks from Laumape and Peter Umaga Jensen, who I might add had his best game in a Hurricanes jersey. The Hurricanes had the advantage at scrum time which allowed them to get well over the advantage line on attack, again though they will be a tad grumpy for not executing. A positive for the Canes is that they showed calmness under pressure in those final 10 minutes that will give them plenty of confidence heading down to Christchurch next week.
From a player perspective the three standouts for me were Ngani Laumape, Jordie Barrett and Peter Umaga Jensen. Ngani Laumape, well his performance speaks for itself and if you haven't seen his brilliant interview post game, check it out here - https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=2805567983004746. Jordie Barrett was exceptional and rose to the occasion against his older brother when it really mattered. He caught everything kicked his way aswell which would have pleased the All Black coaches. Lastly, Peter Umaga Jensen took his chance, he ran with purpose and intent all night, constantly looking dangerous. Broke through the heart of the Blues defence early with a hard and direct line, in what was a common sight all night.
From a Blues perspective they showed plenty of grit and determination to halt that Canes early onslaught which is promising for such a young group. A sign of a good team is one that stays in the fight without really firing too many shots and that's what the Blues did last night. They took all their chances when they came and nearly pulled off a win that looked highly unlikely after the first 20 minutes.
From a player point of view I was really impressed with Kurt Eklund, he continues to grow his game and will push for the top Blues hooking spot moving forward, and deservedly so. Dalton Papali'i was my next pick of the Blues bunch, he was everywhere on defence, making something like 18 tackles which was massive on a night like this. Mark Telea's stocks also continue to rise, every time he got the ball it took about two or three guys to put him down. With a bit more coaching on his defence and technique under the high ball he could very well push for higher honours soon.
Post match presser: