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As it happened: Blues v Sharks

Published: 6:54PM Friday April 13, 2012 Source: ONE Sport

Full-time Blues 23-29 sharks

The Blues tried hard in the second half but were ultimately found short with their error rate being the main obstacle between them achieving victory.

Dropped passes and simple mistakes at line-outs and in general play saw the match slip away from them after snatching the lead early in the second half.

the Sharks showed great composure to hit back with two tries and from there were able to dictate the pace of the game and shut the Blues out.

Pat Lam and his men enjoyed an improved performance but will be left thinking of what might have been.

The sharks will be happy with the away-win and head home knowing their campaign remains very much on-track.

77 mins Blues 23-29 Sharks
Blues substitution - Charlie Faumuina with Tevita Mailau on at prop.

70 mins Blues 23-29 Sharks
Blues substitution - Gareth Anscombe departs with Michael Hobbs taking his place at first five-eighth.

62 mins Blues 23-29 Sharks
Anscombe nails a penalty to narrow the scoreline to six-points. Blues substitution - lock Liaki Moli is off with George Moala on to the field.

62 mins Blues 20-29 Sharks
Blues substitution - Chris Lowrey exits with Peter Saili entering the fray.

59 mins Blues 20-29 Sharks
Lambie misses with a penalty shot after Luke Braid was caught for being on the wrong side of the ruck. 

50 mins Blues 20-29 Sharks
Blues substitution - Piri weepu is on for Alby Matthewson.

49 mins Blues 20-29 Sharks
Sharks try! Lambie periced the line before linking with Daniel who found second five-eighth Tim Whitehead who juggled the ball before dotting down. Lambie converted to extend their lead.

47 mins Blues 20-22 Sharks
The Sharks hit back with a try to Keegan Daniel. hooker Craig Burden made a bust from a ruck and fed it inside to a hard-running Daniel who raced through Rudi Wulf's tackle to score. Lambie kicked the conversion for the Sharks to regain the lead.

44 nmins Blues 20-15 Sharks
Try to the Blues! Benson Stanley scooping up a Sharks' loose pass after a weak scrum put their inside backs under pressure. Anscombe converts to hand the Blues the lead.

41 mins Blues 13-15 Sharks
Gareth Anscombe kicks-off to get the second half underway.

Half-time: Blues 13-15 Sharks

The Blues have done well to get themselves back in to the contest although they will be ruing a lack of accuracy on attack with two loose passes resulting in early tries.

The Sharks have made their share of mistakes also but have been clinical enough to capitalise on those two chances to get tries on the board.

Early on, the Blues attack was met by a rushing in-your-face Sharks defence that pressured them into errors while the Sharks ball carriers were hitting the advantage line at pace and making good yards.

The Blues had two notable chances to score midway through the half but desperate Sharks defence held Ma'a Nonu out before the ball went to ground on the next play, while Rene Ranger created a bust late in the half which fizzled out when Nonu couldn't handle the ball from the ensuing ruck.

Tony Woodcock's 36th minute try came at a vital time and it seemed to invigorate the Blues' play with Ranger again coming close down the sideline as they launched a late rally for points.

The Blues will look to continue in the same vein and minimise those errors while the Sharks will be wondering where their lead went.

39 mins Blues 13-15 Sharks
Dropped goal to the Blues! Anscombe showing good awareness with the halftime break approaching, kicking a dropped-goal from 25 metres out to bring his side within two points of the Sharks.

38 mins Blues 10-15 Sharks
Blues substitution - Keven Mealamu is off with a calf complaint with Tom McCartney taking his place.

36 mins Blues 10-15 Sharks
Try to the Blues through Tony Woodcock! Charlie Faumuina came close driving over the advantage line from close range before his propping partner crashed over from the next ruck. Anscombe converts out wide to bring the home side right back in to the match.

21 mins Blues 3-15 Sharks
Gareth Anscombe knocks over a penalty for the Blues' first points. The Sharks were guilty of not releasing at a ruck.

18 mins Blues 0-15 Sharks
Second try to the Sharks! Hooker Craig Burden latched on to a Chris Lowrey pass for another intercept try. Lambie makes no mistake with the conversion giving his side a handy lead.

16 mins Blues 0-8 Sharks
Lambie bangs over a penalty after Blues winger Rene Ranger infringed at a ruck.

3 mins Blues 0-5 Sharks
Try to the Sharks! Lock Steven Sykes crashes over in the corner after the Blues gifted an intercept pass to No. 8 Keegan Daniel. Daniel ran 50 metres but was dragged down short by Blues five-eighth Gareth Anscombe, with Sykes diving over from the ruck. Lambie's conversion attempt from the sideline was wide of the posts.

0 mins Blues 0-0 Sharks
Patrick Lambie of the Sharks kicks-off to get things underway!

Pre-match

Welcome to tvnz.co.nz's live scoring updates of the Blues round eight Super Rugby clash against the Sharks at Eden Park.

After a week of high-drama, besieged Blues coach Pat Lam and his team are desperate for a pressure relieving win tonight.

With just one win and five losses the Blues' season is at the crossroads and another defeat tonight could signal the end of their play-off hopes.

The Sharks are also hoping to return to the winners circle after falling to the Hurricanes 42-18 last week but will be confident with a finals spot still well within reach and a dominant record against the Blues that has seen them take out the last seven matches between the sides.

The Blues have undergone some changes, with World Cup winning lock Ail Williams being relegated to the bench while outside back Lachie Munro has been left out from the match 22.

In their places come emerging lock Liaki Moli while Hadleigh Parkes is on the right wing.

Luke Braid returns from suspension to start at blindside flanker to partener his brother Daniel who starts on the openside.

Brad Mika is out with a knee injury with the impressive Chris Lowrey moving from number six to No. 8.

Blues management will be hoping the clear weather in Auckland inspires the teams' fans to get out in numbers to rally around their team.

Stay tuned for kick-off at 7.35pm.

Blues: 1. Tony Woodcock, 2. Keven Mealamu (c), 3. Charlie Faumuina, 4. Filo Paulo, 5. Liaki Moli, 6. Luke Braid, 7. Daniel Braid, 8. Chris Lowrey, 9. Alby Mathewson, 10. Gareth Anscombe, 11. Rene Ranger, 12. Ma'a Nonu, 13. Benson Stanley, 14. Hadleigh Parkes, 15. Rudi Wulf.
Replacements: 16. Tom McCartney, 17. Tevita Mailau, 18. Ali Williams, 19. Peter Saili, 20. Piri Weepu, 21. Michael Hobbs, 22. George Moala.

Sharks: 1. Dale Chadwick, 2. Craig Burden, 3. Jannie du Plessis, 4. Steven Sykes, 5. Anton Bresler, 6. Marcell Coetzee, 7. Jean Deysel, 8. Keegan Daniel (c), 9. Charl McLeod, 10. Patrick Lambie, 11. Lwazi Mvovo, 12. Tim Whitehead, 13. JP Pietersen, 14. Louis Ludik, 15. Riaan Viljoen.
Replacements: 16. Kyle Cooper, 17. Wiehahn Herbst, 18. Jandre Marais, 19. Willem Alberts, 20. Jacques Botes Charl McLeod, 21. Meyer Bosman, 22. Frederic Michalak.

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