Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

Blues crowned 2024 Super Rugby Pacific champs

Blues crowned the 2024 Super Rugby Pacific Champions. Photo: Super Rugby.
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Neueli Mauafu | Reporter

Neueli Mauafu heads to Eden Park to watch the Blues break a 21 year drought 

As ‘All of the Lights’ by Kanye West echoed through the stands of Eden Park, with the faint ringing sound of the cowbells by the Waikato faithful, it was time for a Super Rugby final showdown.

On a drizzly wet evening, Eden Park was at full capacity with 44,000 avid rugby fans turning out in full force to show their support for the Blues and the Chiefs.

A moment of silence was observed at the start to honour Highlanders and All Blacks player Connor Garden Bachop, who passed away earlier in the week, before the fireworks started on the field.

Opening up the try-scoring was Blues loose forward Akira Ioane who was playing his last match in Eden Park. That was followed by a three pointer from Harry Plummer giving the Blues an early 10-0 lead.

The Chiefs answered back with a three pointer from Damian McKenzie making it 10-3. But it was short lived, as in-form winger-of- the-season Caleb Clarke slid over in the corner after some exceptional catch and pass skills from the Ioane brothers. That try was converted, extending the Blues to 17-3.

Another three pointer from Plummer just before halftime pushed the lead out again as the teams went into the break, the Chiefs staring at a 20-3 deficit.

Just as they’d started the first half, the Blues came out firing in the second spell, with Clarke racking up two more tries giving him a hat trick in the final. The score was now 34-3. The Chiefs finally found the try line in the 66th minute to bring their tally to 10, but the writing was on the wall.

As the rain started to pour down in the last ten minutes, it just seemed to power up the home side as AJ Lam punched through for another try putting the nail in the coffin for the Chiefs. Final score, 41-10

Blues captain Sa’u Patrick Tuipulotu said that the title win is a moment he will cherish forever.

Photo: Photosport

“It’s Everything. In this moment I just want to enjoy it. It’s been a long 20 years, We owe a lot to our families, this team, our supporters and ourselves.”

Disappointed Chiefs coach Clayton Mcmillian says the loss was a result of them not “firing enough bullets.”

“Honestly it’s disappointing. Especially for our fans who travelled all the way up on State Highway One. But I am still proud of the boys and this group,” Mcmillian said.

“Credit to the Blues, they played a really good game tonight. We weren’t able to front up in the areas we wanted to,” Chiefs captain Luke Jacobson added.

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