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Chiefs Manawa take 12-Try Bonanza

Chiefs Manawa take 12-Try Bonanza

All BlacksMarch 5, 2023

Chiefs Manawa and Blues start the round two Super Rugby Aupiki action at Albany’s North Harbour Stadium.

The Blues have again shown how dangerous they can be but had to cede 50-33 to the Chiefs Manawa in some sizzling round two Super Rugby Aupiki action at Albany’s North Harbour Stadium.

The small crowd was treated to a 12-try, 83-point bonanza in which expansive rugby was the order of the day. The Manawa’s victory was built off the foundations of a solid scrum, aggressive defence and cleanouts by the pack, 31-7 halftime lead and some potent finishing by wings Mererangi Paul and Georgia Daals.

They’re both teenagers 🤯 pic.twitter.com/VT5QJyICPF

— The Blues (@BluesRugbyTeam) March 4, 2023

The Blues made a rousing comeback but will rue their slow start and failure to grasp a few prime attacking opportunities.

The tempo was set early when Manawa hooker Luka Connor continued her prolific tryscoring feats, latching onto a lineout drive to plunge over for the first try.

Blues wing Jaymie Kolose, who had a ding-dong battle with Paul, took the outside gap and showed a strong fend after a long cutout pass by centre Sylvia Brunt. Kolose, who is an elusive footballer, finished with a brace.

Daals matched that for the Manawa, her first coming off a big scrum and two crisp passes. Her second, well into the second stanza, was a thing of beauty and opportunism. Her fullback Tenika Willison broke on the left flank, chipped over the top and somehow regathered with almost no room near the sideline, palming the ball inside for Daals to make the tryscoring sprint. It needed TMO confirmation.

The ✨Tenika✨ Touch. #Aupiki23 https://t.co/nnE2PZSXWp

— Super Rugby NZ (@SuperRugbyNZ) March 4, 2023

There were moments of sublime skill mixed with some loose play, but the Manawa always had the edge. 

Paul’s three tries came from slick passing from her insides, and a final flourish intercept of a Ruahei Demant try.

The home side looked gone at oranges but made a determined fightback, led by their energised locks Maia Roos, who scored a try, and Maama Vaipulu, who scored two. They also got a lot of traction via their bench, notably from forwards Sophie Fisher and Tafito Lafaele.

A feature of the match was the high-class goalkicking, with 11 successful goals from 13 attempts.

The Chiefs Manawa host Matatū next Saturday in Hamilton, while the Blues travel to Wellington to face the Hurricanes Poua to close out the Aupiki regular season.

Chiefs Manawa 50 (Mererangi Paul 3, Georgia Daals 2, Luka Connor, Grace Houpapa-Barrett tries; Hazel Tubic 6 con, pen) Blues 33 (Maama Vaipulu 2, Jaymie Kolose 2, Maia Roos tries; Ruahei Demant 3 con, Krysten Cottrell con) HT: 31-7 Chiefs Manawa

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