The last seven matches between the Blues and the Sharks have all been won by the Sharks. The Durban side enjoy playing a fast-paced game and currently lead the competition for time the ball is in play at 43.8%. Meanwhile, tackle situations are an area of concern for the Blues who are, on average, missing 1 out of every 5.5 tackles or one every 51 seconds. This is the worst statistic in the tournament and may just be why they are struggling.
We are waiting for the kick-off.
0.00: Pat Lambie gets proceedings under way in Auckland as he kicks off for the visitors.
1.00: The Sharks seem to get the first attacking opportunity of the game as they retain possession early on inside the Blues' 22. The home side affect a turnover, however, and the ball is cleared.
3.00: The Blues gain momentum off the back of a scrum on half way. They build phases inside the Sharks' half but Keegan Daniel gets an intercept pass, running 50m to get just 5m from the Blues' line. Steven Sykes is able to get over the line to score the Sharks' first try.
4.00: Lambie misses the conversion.
5.00: The Blues are camped inside the Sharks' 22. They continue to build phases as they probe the visitors' defence.
6.00: The Sharks are penalised for offside and Gareth Anscombe kicks for the corner to set up a Blues lineout.
8.00: The Blues get within 5m of the line as they work through phases but Anscombe knocks on and the home side lose momentum.
11.00: The Sharks gain momentum off the back of a lineout just inside the Blues' half. They work to gain territory but the Blues' defence remains rock solid.
13.00: The Blues concede a penalty inside their own half and Lambie will have a kick at goal.
15.00: Lambie bangs over the kick to extend the Sharks' lead.
17.00: Craig Burden poaches a brilliant intercept and has the legs to run 55m and score the visitors' second try.
18.00: Lambie converts the try and the Sharks lead by fifteen points.
19.00: The Sharks are penalised at the breakdown. Anscombe lines up a shot at goal.
20.00: The kick sails over and the Blues get their first points of the game.
21.00: The visitors work their way up into the Blues' 22. The Blues are able to get out of jail off the back of a lineout as Anscombe clears.
24.00: An error from the Sharks sees the Blues apply pressure and affect a turnover just 7m from the line. They start to work through phases but Ma'a Nonu is penalised for holding on.
28.00: The Blues win a lineout against the throw just inside the Sharks' half. They look to run the ball wide but the Sharks are awarded a scrum and are able to relieve the pressure just on their own 22m line.
30.00: Rene Ranger makes a break and gets within 5m of the line before popping a pass to Nonu. He is unable to hold on and the home side fluff another scoring opportunity.
32.00: The Blues gain momentum after a tighthead at a Sharks' scrum. They get within 2m of the line before Tony Woodcock gets across to score the Blues' first try.
34.00: Anscombe converts the try to reduce the deficit.
35.00: The Sharks are penalised for hands in the ruck and Anscombe kicks for touch.
38.00: The home side work their way inside the Sharks' half. Anscombe slips back into the pocket and is able to land a drop goal.
40.00: The half time siren sounds as the Sharks are penalised at a scrum inside the Blues' half.
The half time score was Blues 13 Sharks 15.
40.00: Anscombe kicks off for the Blues and gets the second half under way in Auckland.
41.00: The Blues work their way inside the Sharks' half. Rudi Wulf makes a solid break up the sideline before throwing an inside pass to Alby Mathewson. He is unable to hold on.
42.00: A solid break sees Benson Stanley capitalise off a Sharks error and a solid performance at scrum time from the Blues. He dots down for the Blues' second try and hands the home side the lead.
43.00: Anscombe converts the try.
45.00: The Sharks reciprocate immediately as they work their way into the Blues' 22. Keegan Daniel dots down after a solid team effort.
46.00: Lambie bangs over the kick to convert the try. The Sharks regain the lead.
48.00: The Sharks are able to score their bonus point try after Lambie finds a gap. An offload to Tim Whitehead sees the centre dot down.
50.00: Lambie's conversion sails over.
55.00: The Blues work their way into the Sharks' half but the visitors are able to pick up a sloppy ball and Lambie makes a massive touch-finder to get the Sharks some territory.
58.00: The Blues are penalised for taking out the scrumhalf without the ball at ruck time. Lambie will have a kick at goal from 40m out.
60.00: Lambie's kick drifts wide.
62.00: The Sharks apply serious pressure inside the Blues' 22. Anscombe is able to clear and relieve the pressure.
64.00: The Sharks are penalised for not releasing and Anscombe kicks for touch to set up a lineout inside the Sharks' half. The Blues look to build momentum off the back of their lineout.
65.00: The Sharks concede a penalty and Anscombe will line up a shot at posts from 25m out.
66.00: Anscombe's kick is on target, reducing the deficit.
70.00: The Sharks work through over fifteen phases inside the Blues' half but are penalised for not releasing. Anscombe kicks for touch to get the home side out of trouble.
73.00: The Sharks look to run the ball from inside their own half. Lambie finds space and decides to kick for touch. The Blues make a silly error with a skew throw at the lineout, handing the Sharks a put in at a scrum just 15m out.
77.00: The Sharks put in a massive effort at scrum time. They are penalised for not releasing as they work towards the line, however. Michael Hobbs clears.
79.00: The Blues work through over ten phases to get themselves into Sharks territory. They are desperate to score but concede a penalty for holding on. The whistle sounds as Lambie punts the ball into touch to hand the Durban side an important win.
The final score is Blues 23 (13) Sharks 29 (15).
Tries - T. Woodcock, B. Stanley
Pen - G. Anscombe 2
Con - G. Anscombe 2
Drop - G. Anscombe
Tries - S. Sykes, C. Burden, K. Daniel, T. Whitehead
Pen - P. Lambie
Con - P. Lambie 3
Referee: Steve Walsh
Assistant Ref 1: Jonathon White
Assistant Ref 2: Nick Briant
TMO: Bryce Lawrence
1. Tony Woodcock, 2. Keven Mealamu (c), 3. Charlie Faumuina, 4. Liaki Moli, 5. Filo Paulo, 6. Luke Braid, 7. Dan 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.
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 (Captain) , 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 Albert , 20. Jacques Botes , 21. Meyer Bosman , 22. Frederic Michalak.