The Daily Rugby

Blues Super Rugby big win first-round victory with Fijian Drua

In their Blues Super Rugby Pacific season opening in Whangārei on Saturday afternoon, the Blues defeated the Fijian Drua 34–10, teaching coach Vern Cotter more about his team than he may have predicted.

The Blues led 29-3 at the interval following a five-try first half that all but sealed the victory. However, Finlay Christie’s yellow card shortly after the restart left the team without a halfback.

Cotter acknowledged during the game that the Blues hadn’t practiced much in this position during the preseason. However, Stephen Perofeta filled in from first five-eighths and performed admirably, even though he had to feed a scrum.

Blues Super Rugby

The Blues’ new first-choice No. 10 made an unexpected change to his already excellent season debut, with fullback Zarn Sullivan making a significant impact as an offensive threat and secondary option.

Blues Super Rugby defeat at Fijian Drua

On the opening weekend of the Blues Super Rugby Pacific season, the Fijian Drua were defeated 34-10 by the Auckland Blues, bringing an abrupt end to the long season of prosperity for Fiji rugby.

The Drua made it to the Super Rugby quarterfinals for the first time last year, while the Fiji national team advanced to the Rugby World Cup quarterfinals, defeating Australia along route, giving supporters of the country something to cheer about over the last nine months.

The Blues put an end to any aspirations the Drua had of their success extending into a new season when they scored 29 points in five tries by halftime in Whangarei.

The Blues jumped out to a commanding lead in the first half thanks to goals from fullback Zarn Sullivan in the left corner of one scrum and winger Caleb Clarke under the posts as first recipient.

Blues captain Dalton Papali’i stated, “We had some moments when we were in form, but there were some moments which were a bit scratchy.” We are aware that the Drua will ultimately bring it all. They have such a great football game that you have to watch them all the time.

World Rugby smart mouthguard technology encountered teething issues on Friday, leaving players perplexed as to why they were required to submit to what appeared to be unnecessary concussion testing during the season-opening game.

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