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- 22nd Mar 2014
- KO 06:35
- Ground: Eden Park, Auckland
Super Rugby: Blues return to winning ways after beating Cheetahs
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The Blues bounced back from last week's loss to the Lions by earning a bonus point in a 40-30 victory over the Cheetahs in Auckland.
They capitalised on a harsh yellow card for Cheetahs loose forward Boom Prinsloo by scoring 17 points during his 10 minute absence late in the first half, and it was too much for the last-placed Cheetahs despite their best efforts at a second-half rally.
Steven Luatua, George Moala, Tevita Li and Tony Woodcock all registered tries for the Blues, with Simon Hickey converting all four and adding four penalties.
The match began with the teams exchanging penalty kicks, with the Cheetahs twice ahead but the scores tied at 6-6 by the 10th minute.
The first try came in the 15th minute and at the third attempt for the Blues, who probed and probed until Luatua found the room to drive over the line.
It took just six minutes for the Cheetahs to level it though as they drove a maul over the line for Prinsloo to score before Johan Goosen converted.
The game then turned four minutes later as the Blues put the Cheetahs under pressure at the line and won a penalty, with Prinsloo yellow carded for a professional foul - a decision which appeared harsh.
The Blues were not complaining and Hickey soon slotted a penalty before Moala added the second try - another moment of controversy as the incident was reviewed and referee Francisco Pastrana ultimately overruled the television match official on double movement to award the try.
Hickey had barely kicked the conversion when Li scooped the ball up from Willie le Roux's fumble to add a third try.
After Prinsloo returned, the Cheetahs ended the half with Elgar Watts' penalty reducing the deficit to 14, but the game had got out of hand in a hurry for the visitors.
It was a slow start to the second half, including a missed penalty from Hickey, but the Cheetahs eventually struck in the 59th minute to lift hopes of a comeback as Cornal Hendricks caught the Blues wrong-footed to cross after a scrum.
The Blues needed just three minutes to respond through Woodcock, but the Cheetahs were not done yet as Hennie Daniller's 67th minute try gave them hope, with Watts' conversion making it 37-30.
However, Hickey nailed another penalty three minutes later, and that was the final score of the game as the Blues held on for the win.