Akira and Rieko Ioane (Ngāpuhi, Te Whānau a Apanui) have led Auckland Blues rugby team to a rampant win over Southland, 51-16 last night in Invercargill. The visiting side running in four tries in the final ten minutes to impose a devastating scoreline over the favoured hosts.
Akira had no problems setting up Pryor Collier for one of the tries of the season.
Loose Forward Akira says, “Good to be back with the boys and getting 15s under my belt, haven’t been back in a while so just taking every opportunity.”
Older sibling Akira wasn’t the only one getting in on the action. Rieko Ioane scored two tries in Auckland's 51-16 romping of Southland last night in Invercargill. However, the defensive patterns of the side proved to be the tip of the iceberg.
Centre Rieko says, “We've worked on it a lot at training and coming from last week we knew that we've slipped off a few tackles. It's been a real focus just making our first up hits, just making sure they're low and hard”
However, that's not to say that the Auckland side made any errors. Tempers flared at times especially after Jimmy Cowan’s try for Southland.
“The boys up front did the hard yards and full credit to them and I think that's why we got the win today, the tight five did well and the loosies,” says Akira.
An astonishing six tries to one. Ngāti Ruanui brothers Simon and Jono Hickey combining for a total of 21 points from the boot.
First five-eight Simon Hickey says, “Quite a few 50/50s which hit the deck or got intercepted and I was guilty of that as well but if we can build phases and it was good to see us break them down towards the end.”
A late surge from the Blues meant they secured four tries in the final ten minutes of the match to blow the score out.
“Yeah the boys did well to fight back in the second half and just happy we went the full 80 this time, and not 60 or 70,” says Akira.
A short turn-around for the Ioane brothers and Auckland who take on Hawkes Bay on Wednesday.