Perofeta had a shocker, Crusaders would beat both


The Blues have returned to winning ways in Super Rugby Pacific after holding on for a scrappy 12-10 win over the NSW Waratahs at Sydney’s Allianz Stadium on Saturday evening.

Blues fly-half Stephen Perofeta missed a number of shots at goal which kept the hosts in with a sniff as the game ticked closer and closer to full-time.

But the Blues survived a late onslaught of attacking pressure from the Tahs, which included a try, but history will forever show that they won this match – and the scoreboard is the only stat that matters in the end.

spacer-new Perofeta had a shocker, Crusaders would beat both

Winless Crusaders will beat both of these teams soon

For the first time ever, the Crusaders have started a Super Rugby season with an 0-4 record after they were pipped by the Hurricanes 14-10 in Christchurch on Friday evening.

It’s a historic low for the Crusaders. The defending champions are in trouble and some have tipped things to go from bad to worse of a tough run of fixtures in the weeks to come.

The Crusaders will travel north in round five to face the Blues in Auckland before returning to Christchurch to play the Chiefs. After a bye, they’ll face the Waratahs in Sydney – the very same side who got the better of them in Super Round just a couple of weeks ago.

But if round four showed rugby fans anything it’s that the Crusaders are more than capable of snapping their losing run in one of those games.

Match Summary

The Waratahs versus Blues fixture was scrappy. There were plenty of errors, some penalties too, and not a lot of points scored as teams failed to make the most of attacking opportunities.

As for the Crusaders, they’ve collected losing bonus points against the Chiefs and Hurricanes this season who are both top three teams at the moment.

The defending champions haven’t been as bad as their 0-4 record suggests, but that’s not to say they’ve been flash either, and they’ll be desperate to make amends.

If either the Tahs or Blues play like they did on Saturday evening, the Crusaders will win. They’re both capable of better and they’ll need to be to avoid a defeat.

What shocker means for All Blacks hopeful Stephen Perofeta

Blues playmaker Stephen Perofeta is already an All Black. The 27-year-old has played a few matches in the famed black jersey and many have tipped the fly-half to add more Tests to his rugby resume with Richie Mo’unga out of the picture.

Playing in a star-studded backline which includes the likes of Mark Tele’a and Caleb Clarke, Perofeta has been impressive during a series of strong performances already this season.

But ‘impressive’ is not a word that even comes close to summarising Perofeta’s night at Sydney’s Allianz Stadium. Nothing seemed to go right for the Blues’ No. 10.

It’s impossible to ignore Perofeta’s off night with the boot.

Perofeta shanked a clearance kick less than 30 seconds into the contest which gifted the Waratahs good field possession just outside the 22. That set the tone for the night.

The first five sent a penalty kick for touch dead early in the second half and also missed about four kicks on the night – including two from practically right in front.

While Perofeta did make a try-saving tackle during the second half, the Blues could’ve won by a lot more if those shots at goal had hit the mark.

What does this mean for Perofeta as an All Blacks prospect? Nothing really. Perofeta is still one of New Zealand’s best options behind Damian McKenzie.

But Perofeta needs to bounce back. One shocker can’t define a player but a series of them should see Perofeta fall down the depth chart.

Joe Schmidt must find a place for Izaia Perese in Wallabies team

While the Wallabies’ first Test of the year against Wales is still a few months away, coach Joe Schmidt can already pencil Izaia Perese’s name into the starting XV.

Queenslander Joran Petaia was viewed as Australia’s first-choice outside centre for most of last year’s Rugby World Cup campaign but there should be a changing of the guard under Schmidt.

Not only do questions still remain about which position Petaia should actually play, but Perese has emerged as Australia’s form midfielder and there’s daylight between him and second.

Let’s not forget about Len Ikitau, who needs to be back in the mix this season. Ikitau should be selected which means Perese either takes a place at No. 12 or on the wing.

But the point is simple: coach Schmidt needs to assess the Australian rugby puzzle piece and make sure the best players fit together in the same team. It would be a mistake to leave Perese out completely.

Perese continued to impress in round four against the Aucklanders after being highlighted by Stan Sport midweek for his superb performance against the Highlanders.

Great players can make good players look average. While it might be a reach, at least at the moment, to call Perese ‘great’ there’s no question that the Wallaby is a special talent.

Perese made a number of eye-catching carries during the first half against the Blues, which saw the Aussie bump off a few defenders during a series of impressive bursts.

The 26-year-old led the team for carries with five at the break and was equal-first out of any player in linebreaks at that stage of the game as well. No other Waratah had made one.

Former Australia coach Eddie Jones had some good ideas and exposed a lot of young talents to Test match footy for the first time, but Schmidt needs to both build on that and change it up.

Brumbies wing Corey Toole needs to be in the team, and the same should be said about Izaia Perese. These are selections that don’t just make sense, they need to happen.

With these weapons on the field, the Wallabies can emerge as a real force that is significantly better than what their current world ranking of 10 suggests.



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