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Blues' thrilling ANZAC Round win sets stage for tradition

Blues' thrilling ANZAC Round win sets stage for tradition

All BlacksApril 29, 2024

The Blues' 41-34 win over the Reds in injury time could be an incentive for a regular DHL Super Rugby Pacific Anzac Weekend contest between the sides.

Blues coach Vern Cotter supports the suggestion mooted in Brisbane last week by Reds coach Les Kiss that the game between the two sides should become a regular Anzac Weekend contest.

Cotter said there was history between the two sides, and if Saturday's game was an example of what a quality rugby game could produce, he was all in favour of it.

"It ties the history of the two sides together and the people that have been involved in those difficult times in the First and Second World Wars. It's something that needs to be realised. And, if it's recognised by a game of footy every year, why not?"

Cotter said it took time for the Blues to settle into their game, and under the pressure the Reds applied, they had made some defensive errors. But the Blues kept believing, and he said it was a 'big hats off' to the players and the leadership group for keeping the team composed and finding a way to win.

"Our bench was good coming on and added an impact, so everybody contributed, and it's one of those wins that you breathe a sight of relief because you got away with it. 

"But you need games like that to test yourselves. And that was a great Test, a great game."

Captain Patrick Tuipulotu said the final result was good, but it had been tough to succeed.

The Reds struck them first, and adapting took the Blues a little time.

"They were going to do what we expected them to do, and we didn't clean up our ruck and get our cleans right."

They had discipline issues in their defence, putting them on the back foot and giving the Reds an 'in'.

Tuipulotu said that after the Reds took the lead in the second half when debut starting wing Tim Ryan, a player he had never heard of, scored a hat trick of tries, his message was simple.

"It was just trying to focus on the next job and get our defence tight, especially off a kick-off. There were plenty of mistakes in that area, so to get through that last 10 [minutes] we couldn't stop playing. We kept the pressure on, and even though we were making mistakes, we were able to bounce back and there were some good skills on the edge by debutant James Thompson.

"There was some good work all-round to finish the game off."

The finals race is ON 👀

Where is your team sitting on the #SuperRugbyPacific ladder after round 10? pic.twitter.com/GIsB8LC5BQ

— Super Rugby Pacific (@SuperRugby) April 28, 2024

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