Super Rugby

Crusaders beat Blues in Auckland




The Blues have played the Crusaders 37 times in Super Rugby since 1996, the Blues have won 11, lost 25, and drawn once.

The Blues and Crusaders have met 19 times in Auckland, the Blues winning 11 Super Rugby games, losing 10 times, with one draw.

  • The Crusaders have won their last 12 consecutive completed Super Rugby games against the Blues, including a come-from-behind win when they last met (Rd 5, 2020 in Super Rugby Aotearoa).
  • The Crusaders have won their last six Super Rugby matches at Eden Park.
  • Leon McDonald’s charges have won their last five completed home games in Super Rugby; the last time they won more was a seven-game streak across the 2010 and 2011 campaigns.
  • The Blues have gained an average of 501 metres per game in the 2021 Super Rugby Aotearoa season after not having gained 500+ metres in any of their 14 games played in 2020.
  • Otere Black has kicked 11/12 goals in the 2021 Super Rugby Aotearoa season, the highest success rate (92%) of any player to have made multiple attempts.
  • Tom Christie has made 42 tackles this Super Rugby Aotearoa season, the most of any player, while teammate Ethan Blackadder (20/20) has made the most tackles of any player yet to miss a single attempt.

Match detail

We are waiting for the kick-off.

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

1.00: PEEEEP! We are underway at Eden Park, Auckland.

3.00: Both teams trying to play with ball-in-hand in the early stages, which leads to a couple of errors and turnovers. The Blues’ pack is massive, full of monsters, but the Crusaders lead the scrum statistics in Super Rugby Aotearoa for penalties won, and scrums on their own feed. The champs are second for scrum-percentage success on their own feed.

4.00: Massive scrum by the home team, winning a scrum-penalty. Otere Black boots the ball to the corner.

6.00: The Crusaders defend the lineout expertly, winning possession, and mauling to their 22. They do not, however, clear and the Blues win a kickable penalty in front of the posts.

8.00: PENALTY! Black opens the scoring for the hosts. 3-0

9.00: Sevu Reece concedes a needless penalty for holding onto the ball after the restart, Black clears to the halfway line; however, the Crusaders win a penalty of their own from the lineout. Richie Mo’unga kicks to the corner.

11.00: TRY! Codie Taylor breaks from the rolling maul and carries towards the goal line. Bryn Hall stabs a grubber behind the defence, and Jack Goodhue beats Akira Ioane to the bouncing ball to score. 3-5

11.00: CONVERSION! Mo’unga adds the extras. 3-7

13.00: The Blues almost score from the restart; instead, they have a scrum on the Saders’ try line, 15 metres in-field.

15.00: The Blues demolish the opposition’s pack, winning their fourth penalty of the match. Nothing comes from the advantage, so Patrick Tuipulotu opts for another scrum.

16.00: The visitors win their second scrum-penalty, but Taylor is pinged for foul play, “hands to the face” says referee Paul Williams, who reverses the call.

17.00: Another penalty (7-1) against the Crusaders for offside by Will Jordan –– who saved a certain Caleb Clarke try –– sees Tuipulotu call for another scrum.

19.00: The Crusaders win their third scrum-penalty after Alex Hodgman collapses the scrum.

20.00: TRY! Blake Gibson takes Clarke’s forward-pass and scores in the corner after a scintillating counter-attack after the Crusaders lost possession near midfield. The TMO review up-holds the ref’s call. The ball looked to travel forward but the officials say the ball went backward from the hands. Interesting call. 8-7

21.00: MISS! The kick is wide. 8-7

23.00: Leicester Fainga’anuku illegally joins the ruck, Black clears to the opposition’s 22.

24.00: Goodhue wins the penalty-turnover after Clarke holds the ball following being tackled near the sideline.

26.00: The Crusaders have only had 20% possession and 18% territory so far; the Blues are dominant, having only had to make six tackles from seven attempts. The Saders win the penalty inside the opposition’s 22.

27.00: PENALTY! Mo’unga puts the champions back in front. 8-10

30.00: It’s end-to-end. Rieko Ioane beat the tackles but is caught by Taylor. The blues go wide to Akira Ioane, but he cannot hold onto Bryce Heem’s pass. Will Jordan scoops up the ball, steps two defenders, and charges into the Blues’ half, weaving a trail of bodies in his wake. The fullback plays his support runner, but the move breaks down; however, the Saders win the penalty. Mo’unga boots to the corner.

31.00: An early drive to the lineout by Luteru Tolai earns the visitors another lineout on the Blues’ line.

32.00: TRY! Codie Taylor, with the help of some backline players, controls the ball at the back of the driving maul before flopping over the try line for his fourth score of the season (21st Super Rugby try). 8-15

33.00: CONVERSION! Mo’unga nails the kick. 8-17

35.00: Taylor –– who else –– wins the penalty at the breakdown. He is having some kinda season! Mo’unga misses his touch-finder allowing the Blues to clear to halfway.

37.00: The Blues have a defensive lineout on their try line after a Mo’unga grubber beats Jordan to the corner flag. Jonathan Ruru’s clearance goes just outside his 22.

39.00: Ruru twice goes with high box-kicks, both times the ball is 50/50, the second one earns his team a fortunate lineout after Reece is tackled into touch.

40.00: The Blues lose the ball forward at the ruck, it gives the Saders one last chance before the break.

41.00: The hooter sounds, Hall passes to Mo’unga, who puts the ball into touch.

The halftime score was Blues 8 Crusaders 17

41.00: PEEEEP! We are back underway in the City of Sails.

43.00: PENALTY! Mo’unga extends his side’s lead. 8-20

46.00: The Blues make some early changes, one of them, Kurt Eklund, makes an error with his first throw.

48.00: Somehow, the hosts win back possession, and counter-attack to the Crusaders’ 22 before winning a penalty for hands in the ruck by the opposition. Black kicks to the corner.

48.00: TRY! Kurt Eklund makes up for his earlier mistake with a powerful drive over the whitewash, scoring his second try of the season. 13-20

49.00: CONVERSION! Black adds the extras. 15-20

51.00: Crusaders win a kickable penalty.

52.00: PENALTY! Mo’unga makes no mistake. 15-23

55.00: Sam Whitelock’s tackle on Heem earns the champs another penalty in front of the posts.

56.00: PENALTY! Mo’unga goes past 800 Super Rugby points. 15-26

59.00: Another penalty goes the way of Scott Robertson’s men.

60.00: PENALTY! Mo’unga makes it seven from seven. 15-29

63.00: The Blues need to strike soon because the last quarter of any game belongs to the Crusaders.

66.00: Black goes close, but is tackled short. The Blues go again, this time Eklund manages to wrangle past Mo’unga and Reece to keep his team in the game. 20-29

67.00: MISS! Black misses from the touchline. 20-29

68.00: Paul Williams reverses the penalty after Eklund flipped Reece after the winger’s dangerous tackle on the hooker. Mo’unga kicks to the corner.

69.00: TRY! It’s that man Mo’unga, who switches the attack and slips through Eklund’s desperate tackle to win the game for the champs. 20-34

71.00: CONVERSION! The kick is good. 20-36

72.00: TRY! Hoskins Sotutu keeps his team in the game with a stunning score after the restart. 25-36

74.00: CONVERSION! Harry Plummer adds the extras. 27-36

75.00: YELLOW CARD! Ofa Tuungafasi goes to the sin-bin. 27-36

77.00: TRY! Reece goes over in the corner to end the Blues’ hopes of a comeback. 27-41

79.00: CONVERSION! Mo’unga extends. 27-43

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The final score is Blues 27 (8) Crusaders 43 (17)


Tries – Gibson, Eklund (2), Sotutu
Pen – Black
Con – Black, Plummer
Drop –
Cards – Tu’ungafasi (Yellow, 75′)

Tries – Goodhue, Taylor, Mo’unga, Reece
Pen – Mo’unga (5)
Con – Mo’unga (4)
Drop –
Cards –

Match Officials
Referee: Paul Williams
Assistant Ref 1: Mike Fraser
Assistant Ref 2: James Doleman
TMO: Brendon Pickerill



15 Stephen Perofeta, 14 Bryce Heem, 13 Rieko Ioane, 12 Harry Plummer, 11 Caleb Clarke, 10 Otere Black, 9 Jonathan Ruru; 8 Hoskins Sotutu, 7 Blake Gibson, 6 Akira Ioane, 5 Josh Goodhue, 4 Patrick Tuipulotu (Captain), 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Luteru Tolai, 1 Alex Hodgman

Replacements: 16 Kurt Eklund, 17 Karl Tu’inukuafe, 18 Ofa Tu’ungafasi, 19 Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, 20 Tom Robinson, 21 Adrian Choat, 22 Finlay Christie, 23 TJ Faiane


15 Will Jordan, 14 Sevu Reece, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 David Havili, 11 Leicester Fainga’anuku, 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Cullen Grace, 7 Sione Havili Talitui, 6 Ethan Blackadder, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Scott Barrett (captain), 3 Michael Alaalatoa, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Joe Moody

16 Brodie McAlister, 17 George Bower, 18 Oli Jager, 19 Quinten Strange, 20 Whetukamokamo Douglas, 21 Mitchell Drummond, 22 Fergus Burke, 23 Dallas McLeod

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