‘That wasn’t comfortable’: Blues lose skipper and need to find another level in Super semis


The Blues scored an unanswered 22 first half points enroute to the Super Rugby semifinals in Saturday, but the Auckland side will likely need to step up their intensity next week.

And they might be missing their skipper Patrick Tuipulotu who was forced out of the game early with a knee injury.

A week after the Blues lost top spot on the table after the siren by conceding a late try, they again had some second half struggles against Fijian Drua before winning 36-5.

The 22-0 lead at the break was ultimately enough, but a wonderful try via Fijian winger Selestino Ravutaumada gave them a wakeup call.

Dalton Papali’i, Finlay Christie and Caleb Clarke, who later added a second, set up the victory with first half tries.

Hoskins Sotutu of the Blues on the charge during the Super Rugby Pacific Quarter Final match between the Blues and Fijian Drua at Eden Park, on June 08, 2024, in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

The Blues will host either the Brumbies (should they beat the Highlanders) or the Chiefs next weekend depending on the result of the final QF later Saturday.

 “Yeah, that wasn’t comfortable,” said Papali’i who took over the captaincy on 20 minutes.

“You know what you’re going to get from the Drua and that’s fast-paced footy and they clearly showed it tonight.

“I don’t think the scoreboard reflects how tough a game that was. They really brought it to us and there’s long phases where they’re attacking and they broke us on that try down there. They’re a hell of a team, they’ve been playing well since they’ve been in this whole comp, so it’s a mad respect for them and credit to my boys as well.”

For all the kind words, and the Drua’s competitiveness at home this season – the Fijians will never threaten the big boys until they can overcome their staggering travel sickness. That’s now 16 games in a row where they haven’t won on the road.

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