The Blues A team, featuring 14 full squad members and nine provincial players, emerged from Eden Park with a 42-7 win over Chiefs A on Friday night during the KFC Curtain Raiser.
Blues A and North Harbour Head coach Steve Jackson described the game as an opportunity for Blues coaches to give the squad more early game time, as well as a chance for the region’s developing players to have a hit-out in a Super Rugby context.
“Players like Marcel Renata (Auckland) and Lewis Gjaltema (North Harbour) had great games,” he said. “I was impressed with the younger players who came in and performed well in this type of competition, Marcel even scored a couple of tries.”
Of particular note was Blues squad youngster Jordan Trainor who converted each of the tries and touched down with one of his own.
The game started out slow with both Blues A and Chiefs A going head to head, with few points in it. It was 7-7 for the opening 20 minutes. Gradually the home side was able to wear the Chiefs down and left the field at half time up 28-7.
While there were a number of lost opportunities, including ball fumbling and knock-ons, plus a yellow card to Jack Ram for a deliberate knock-down, the Blues were able to hold the Chiefs at bay and pull ahead with another two tries before the final whistle.
Blues point scorers:
Blues A: Marcel Renata (2), Peter Breen, Jordan Trainor (T, 6C), Rieko Ioane (2)