Super Rugby

Blues and Bulls draw in Auckland




The Blues have played the Bulls 18 times in Super Rugby since 1998, the Blues have won 11 matches and lost eight.

The Blues’ 11 wins give them a record of winning 61% of their matches against the Bulls regardless of venue.

  • The Auckland franchise has won four of their last six Super Rugby games against the Bulls, with the two losses sandwiched in between back-to-back victories.
  • The Kiwis have, however, lost five of their last six matches, this season.
  • The Blues have won 11 of their 12 home games against the Bulls in Super Rugby history (L1), over half of those wins (7) have seen a final margin of 13+.
  • Leon MacDonald’s side has won five of their last six Super Rugby games on home turf, including a 23-8 win over the Chiefs in their last home fixture.
  • The Kiwis boast the best scrum success rate (97%) of any team this Super Rugby season and have also lost a league-low total of three scrums.
  • The Bulls’ Duane Vermeulen has won 20 turnovers thus far in Super Rugby 2019, more than any other player in the competition and eight more than Blues’ best Dalton Papali’i.

Match detail

We are waiting for the kick-off.

In the meantime why not have a look at the match preview.

It’s a miserable evening in Auckland with steady rain and the threat of thunderstorms and lightning, very very frightening. I’ll get my coat.

1.00: PEEEEP! We are underway in the City of Sails. Jason Jenkins plays his 50th Super Rugby match.

2.00: The Blues start with the first attack, winning a scrum after the Bulls knocked on Thomas Faiane’s grubber. The scrum is outside the visitors’ 22. It is reset.

3.00: Kicking will be critical in these conditions, that and the set-pieces.

4.00: A solid scrum by the Blues leads to Schalk Brits getting caught offsides at the following ruck. Plummer kicks to the 22.

6.00: Faiane takes a quick 22, but he knocks on as he tries to gather possession. Bulls have a scrum on the opposite side of the field from where the Blues did.

8.00: It’s not the weather to play quickly through the hands in contact, but the Blues try, however, they knock on after a turnover, giving the tourists another attacking scrum. Lizo Gqoboka is being checked by the medics for a shoulder injury.

9.00: The Blue Bulls win a scrum penalty and will take a shot at goal.

10.00: PENALTY! Manie Libbok, starting again for the injured Handré Pollard, puts his side on the board. 0-3

12.00: Another knock-on from Faiane kills a promising attack inside the Bulls’ 22. James Parsons is down, now. Some Run DMC blasts out the stadium PA.

14.00: Libbok clears a poor clearance back to the Blues, who counter-attack into the 22. No advantage, so we go back for the original infringement by Paul Schoeman.

15.00: Harry Plummer calls for the tee.

17.00: PENALTY! Plummer levels. 3-all

19.00: TRY! A patient build-up ends when Hanro Liebenberg crashed over from close-range after several phases. RG Snyman’s offload put the flanker away for the score. The attack started when Jonathan Ruru’s kick went out on the full, giving the Saffas an attacking lineout. Rosco Specman went close but was tackled short. Jenkins carried and Trevor Nyakane as the Bulls battered the Blues before Liebenberg’s five-pointer. 3-8

20.00: MISS! Libbok’s kick is no good. 3-8

22.00: A 10-phase attack has the Bulls on their heals. The Blues are making incremental marginal gains, but are looking good.

24.00: NO TRY! Ruru crashes over after Plummer is stopped short. Marco van Staden’s hand looks to have held-up the ball. TMO Ben Skeen cannot find enough conclusive evidence to overturn referee Mike Fraser’s call of “no try.” The hosts opt for a 5m scrum.

25.00: TRY! Ofa Tu’ungafasi’s pick-and-drive levels the game after Akira Ioane’s quick-tap from a scrum free-kick. 8-all

26.00: CONVERSION! Plummer gives his side the lead. 10-8

28.00: OH DEAR! Libbok costs his side 45 metres when his kick rolls over the dead-ball line from a good lineout drive.

29.00: TIGHT HEAD! The Blues are bulldozed by Pote Human’s men. WOW!

30.00: Bulls win another scrum after a lineout drive goes down.

32.00: All the Bulls possession and pressure is released when they turn over the ball. Plummer clears, but only 25 metres out from his goal-line.

33.00: Ma’a Nonu, usually the oldest man on the pitch, is outdone by Brits. The 38-year-old hooker mistimes his throw, leading to a knock-on by Snyman, but that’s probably harsh on the legendary No. 2.

35.00: Ruru clears to halfway. Great kick!

38.00: Both sides are handling the ball pretty well considering the on-field conditions are tough because of the drizzle. A couple of stoppages for injuries have stopped the clock.

41.00: Burger Odendaal spots some space behind the Blues, tries a grubber that is lost forward by Ioane. Halftime.

The halftime score was Blues 10 Bulls 8

41.00: PEEEEP! We are back underway at Eden Park. Warrick Gelant drops a bomb; the Blues snap up the loose ball and counter.

42.00: Gelant’s mistake leads to a penalty for the Blues after Jenkins kills the attack by going off his feet at the breakdown. Plummer kicks to the corner.

44.00: The Bulls win the lineout against the throw. Libbok clears to Faiane. The centre plays Akira Ioane, but the attack breaks down. Brits is getting treatment from the medics, but that’s standard.

46.00: TRY! Scott Scrafton crashes over from close range after a sustained attack inside the opposition’s 22. Parson’s carry before opened up the path to the goal-line. 15-8

47.00: MISS! Plummer’s kick rebounds off the right-hand upright. 15-8

50.00: Good work by Van Staden at the break down wins his side a penalty to relieve the pressure.

53.00: TRY! A Sensational counter-attack by the tourists leads to Cornal Hendricks scoring his second try of the season. Snyman pilfered possession at the breakdown which kick-started the counter. The Bulls forwards sent the ball through the hands with a big run by Liebenberg and Van Staden. Cornal Hendricks latched onto the bouncing ball from the grubber to score in the corner. 15-13

54.00: CONVERSION! Libbok levels from the sideline. 15-all

56.00: Van Staden with another steal, boy, he’s been immense.

60.00: Superb clean-up by Gelant, however, he is carried over his goal-line and picked up and put out into touch. It’s a 5m scrum to the Blues in the corner.

63.00: TRY! Akira Ioane crashes over after a reset scrum. The No. 8 picked up from the back of the set-piece, broke blind and dived over to give his side another lead. 20-15

64.00: CONVERSION! Plummer splits the uprights. 22-15

67.00: Who has the stamina to see this match out?

70.00: A Bulls’ knock on gives the Blues possession.

72.00: time is running out for Pote Human’s side. Leon MacDonald continues to make changes. Scrum to the Blues in midfield.

74.00: The Bulls have a penalty for a dangerous tackle on Gelant. Libbok kicks to the corner. HERE WE GO!

76.00: TRY! Libbok stuns the Blues, darting through some sloppy defending to score next to the sticks. 22-20

76.00: CONVERSION! He converts his try to level. 22-all

78.00: Auckland are in a good position to win this match; they have a 13-phase attack with a penalty advantage.

80.00: MISS! Otere Black’s drop-kick is short, but the Blues get the penalty. Plummer will take a shot from near the sideline to win the game.

81.00: MISS! Oh no! Plummer misses the chance for the win by pushing his kick well wide. 22-all


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The final score is Blues 22 (10) Bulls 22 (8)


Tries – Tu’ungafasi, Scrafton. A. Ioane
Pen – Plummer
Con – Plummer (2)
Drop –
Cards –

Tries – Liebenberg, Hendricks, Libbok
Pen – Libbok
Con – Libbok (2)
Drop –
Cards –

Match Officials
Referee: Mike Fraser
Assistant Ref 1: Brendon Pickerill
Assistant Ref 2: Dan Waenga
TMO: Ben Skeen



15 Melani Nanai, 14 Caleb Clarke, 13 Thomas Faiane, 12 Ma’a Nonu, 11 Rieko Ioane, 10 Harry Plummer, 9 Jonathan Ruru, 8 Akira Ioane, 7 Blake Gibson (co-captain), 6 Tom Robinson, 5 Scott Scrafton, 4 Patrick Tuipulotu (co-captain), 3 Ofa Tu’ungafasi, 2 James Parsons, 1 Alex Hodgman.

Replacements: 16 Leni Apisai, 17 Lua Li, 18 Marcel Renata, 19 Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, 20 Hoskins Sotutu, 21 Augustine Pulu, 22 Otere Black, 23 Tanielu Tele’a.


15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 John-Ben Kotze, 12 Burger Odendaal (captain), 11 Rosko Specman, 10 Manie Libbok, 9 Ivan van Zyl, 8 Paul Schoeman, 7 Hanro Liebenberg, 6 Marco van Staden, 5 Rudolph Snyman, 4 Jason Jenkins, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Schalk Brits, 1 Lizo Gqoboka.

Replacements: 16 Jaco Visagie, 17 Simphiwe Matanzima, 18 Wiehahn Herbst, 19 Jannes Kirsten, 20 Ruan Steenkamp, 21 Andre Warner, 22 John Jackson, 23 Divan Rossouw.

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