The Waratahs have played the Blues 22 times in Super Rugby and they have won eight matches and lost 14.
This gives the Waratahs a record of winning 36% of their matches against the Blues regardless of the venue.
- The Blues have won five of their last seven games against the Waratahs including their last two. The last time they won more on the bounce against the New South Wales team was a three-game streak from 2002 to 2004.
- The Waratahs didn’t manage a single point in their last game, only once in Super Rugby history has any Australian team gone on to win their next game after failing to score a point (Rebels in Rd 2, 2011).
- The Blues are undefeated in their last five games in Australia (W4, D1), including wins in each of their last four visits.
- The Waratahs boast a goal-kicking success rate of 88% this campaign, the best of any team in the competition.
- Bernard Foley has scored 98 points this campaign, the most of any player yet to cross for a try and the second most overall behind Robert du Preez (114) of the Sharks.
We are waiting for the kick-off.
1.00: PEEEP! We are underway at Brookvale Oval in Sydney.
3.00: The Blues have been in the wars this season. Tana Umaga has used 40 players, 12 of which have made their debuts. Caleb Clarke is the latest to earn his first cap for the New Zealanders.
4.00: Some early pressure by the Waratahs, who win the penalty at the ruck. Michael Hooper wants a shot at goal.
5.00: MISS! Bernard Foley’s kick is just wide of the right-hand upright. 0-all
7.00: TRY! New South Wales lost 27 turnovers against the Lions last week and they have not learnt their lesson. Kurtley Beale is isolated after a “trash” pass from Foley. The Tahs lose the ball and Rieko Ioane runs in for the score. 0-5
8.00: CONVERSION! Stephen Perofeta adds the extras. 0-7
11.00: Matt Duffie is pinged for an infringement while challenging Israel Folau.
13.00: The Waratahs win another penalty, and after opting for posts the last time, they go to the corner.
14.00: WOW! Cameron Clark chases Rieko Ioane 90 metres and makes a superb try-saving tackle. Ioane is penalised for not releasing the ball after being brought to ground, and the Tahs get a reprieve.
17.00: Will Miller tackles Augustine Pulu, but is offsides. The Waratahs have held the ball well, except for their short-passing game, which is letting them down.
18.00: PENALTY! Perofeta extends the Blues’ lead. 0-10
20.00: The Blues have not scored a try from the rolling maul all season; no wonder they took the points.
21.00: A poor pass from Pulu is gathered by the Tahs. They counter-attack but lose the ball into touch near the Blues’ goal-line.
23.00: Orbyn Leger kicks the ball directly out on the full. The home team has a lineout inside the Blues’ half.
24.00: YELLOW CARD! Dalton Papali’i is in the bin. Cameron Clark is tackled high and in touch by Papali’i after Folau set up an attack inside the Blues’ 22.
25.00: TRY! The Waratahs go to their rolling maul and barge over the try-line. It’s Damien Fitzpatrick who gets up with the ball. 5-10
26.00: CONVERSION! Foley adds the two points. 7-10
28.00: The Blues are once again struggling to find a way over the whitewash. They’ve made the most metres, offloads and line breaks in Super Rugby, but cannot score.
30.00: TRY! Tumua Manu is over in the corner. It came from a midfield break by Perofeta, who played Duffie with a beautiful chicken wing pass. The fullback drew two defenders before floating a pass to Manu. 7-15
31.00: MISS! The kick is wide. 10-15
33.00: TRY! Folau finds space, plays Beale, who is tackled short of the line. The ball is recycled quickly and Sekope Kepu is over in the corner. 12-15
35.00: CONVERSION! Foley slots the touchline conversion. 14-15
37.00: It’s end-to-end in the suburbs of Sydney. Manu goes close after some more good work by Rieko Ioane.
38.00: The Waratahs are caught offsides. Perofeta’s break came after James Parson’s initial line break. Pulu is tackled short by Tom Robertson, but Miller is pinged.
39.00: PENALTY! Perofeta makes no mistake from in front. 14-18
40.00: Folau makes another miracle catch, this time from Foley’s restart. The Tahs attacked into the Blues 22, but another knock on cedes possession in the red zone.
41.00: The hooter sounds, the Blues secure the scrum and Pulu boots the ball into touch.
The halftime score was Waratahs 14 Blues 18
41.00: PEEEEP! We are back underway in Sydney.
43.00: The Blues have led at halftime in four games this season, but have lost all of them.
44.00: Folau starts another attack which ends in a penalty to the Tahs. Foley kicks into the Blues’ 22.
46.00: An excellent rolling maul and a sniping break from Jake Gordon is halted when the Blues win the turnover on their line. Yet again, more sloppy work at the breakdown by the Aussies.
48.00: Gordon goes close again, this time he is tackled into touch, five metres out.
49.00: Perofeta clears, but only to the 22. This is good pressure by the home team. Folau loses the ball forward in contact. Darryl Gibson, the Waratahs coach, has just said that his team needs to hang on to the ball better.
51.00: The Waratahs win the ball against the throw and are back on the attack inside the Blues half.
52.00: Taqele Naiyaravoro loses the ball as he is being tackled. Boy, all these handling errors are a “coach-killer.”
54.00: A superb kick by Beale turns the Blues around and puts them back inside their 22.
56.00: The second-half continues to be an arm-wrestle. Both teams cannot capitalise on each other’s mistakes.
58.00: Beale sends another kick, this time a grubber, in behind the Blues. It’s been all Tahs in the second-half, but they cannot find a way to convert pressure into points.
60.00: We have entered the final quarter of the game. Both teams will start to empty their benches, soon. Jonathan Ruru replaces his skipper Pulu. Gordon looks tired and is subbed for Nick Phipps.
61.00: This is the time in the game that the Kiwis usually assert their dominance.
62.00: The Blues win a penalty inside the Waratahs 22. Parsons points to the poles.
62.00: PENALTY! Perofeta extends his side’s lead to seven. 14-21
63.00: Paddy Ryan enters the game, making his 100th Super Rugby appearance in the process.
64.00: Kepu has just gone off and the Blues win a scrum penalty.
66.00: Foley is pinged for accidental offsides after the standoff gathered the ricocheted ball off Tom Robertson. Scrum to the Blues inside the Waratahs 22.
68.00: The Tahs are penalised at the ruck. The Blues went eight phases before getting the penalty. Referee Jaco Peyper has missed another knock on.
69.00: PENALTY! Perofeta extends the lead with his fourth penalty goal of the night. 14-24
71.00: TRY! Hooper steps and is away under the sticks. The skipper took Beale’s well-timed inside pass and races away untouched. Game on! 19-24
72.00: CONVERSION! Foley reduces the Blues’ lead to three. 21-24
76.00: The Blues hold up the Waratahs’ maul and win an important turnover, inside their 22.
78.00: The Waratahs are on the Blues’ try-line; time is running out.
79.00: Folau loses Beale’s cross-kick into touch. That was a gamble from Beale. the Tahs had gone 18 phases before the Wallaby gave away possession.
81.00: Paddy Ryan loses the ball forward, and that’s the game.
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The final score: Waratahs 21 (14) Blues 24 (18)
Tries – Fitzpatrick, Kepu, Hooper
Con – Foley (3)
Tries – R. Ioane, T. Manu
Pen – Perofeta (4)
Con – Perofeta
Cards – Papali’i (Yellow, 24′)
Referee: Jaco Peyper
Assistant Ref 1: Angus Gardner
Assistant Ref 2: Will Houston
TMO: George Ayoub
15 Israel Folau, 14 Cameron Clark, 13 Lalakai Foketi, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Taqele Naiyaravoro, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Jake Gordon, 8 Michael Wells, 7 Michael Hooper (captain), 6 Will Miller, 5 Rob Simmons, 4 Ned Hanigan, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Damien Fitzpatrick, 1 Tom Robertson.
Replacements: 16 Hugh Roach, 17 Harry Johnson-Holmes, 18 Paddy Ryan, 19 Tom Staniforth, 20 Jed Holloway, 21 Nick Phipps, 22 Curtis Rona, 23 Bryce Hegarty.
15 Matt Duffie, 14 Tumua Manu, 13 Orbyn Leger, 12 Rieko Ioane, 11 Caleb Clarke, 10 Stephen Perofeta, 9 Augustine Pulu (captain), 8 Akira Ioane, 7 Dalton Papali’i, 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, 4 Patrick Tuipulotu, 3 Sione Mafileo, 2 James Parsons, 1 Ross Wright.
Replacements: 16 Matt Moulds, 17 Pauliasi Manu, 18 Mike Tamoaieta, 19 Lyndon Dunshea, 20 Murphy Taramai, 21 Jonathan Ruru, 22 Dan Kirkpatrick, 23 Terrence Hepetema.