Super Rugby

Crusaders beat Blues in Auckland




The Blues have played current super rugby champions the Crusaders 32 times in Super rugby since 1996 and they have won 11 matches and lost 21 matches.

There have been no draws between the two former champions.

  • The Crusaders have won their last eight games on the bounce against the Blues, restricting the Auckland side to fewer than 20 points on five occasions in that time.
  • The Blues have earned just one competition point from their last three home games against the Crusaders (L3); their last home victory against the Christchurch side coming in February 2014.
  • The Blues ran out to a 39-16 victory over the Reds in their final home fixture of the 2018 campaign and will now be searching for back-to-back home victories for the first time since April 2017.
  • No team scored as many tries in the opening 20 minutes of the match last season as the Crusaders (24) –the Blues managed just seven tries in this period, the fewest of any team.
  • Akira Ioane (Blues) scored eight tries last season, the second-most of any forward behind only Malcolm Marx (12).

Match detail

We are waiting for the kick off.

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

It is a lovely clear day in Auckland. We should be in for a good match.

0.01: Nick Briant blows his whistle to start the match and we are underway as Otere Black kicks off.

1.00: Penalty to the Blues after they go through a number of phases. Otere Black kicks to the corner as the Blues want the line out.

2.00: The Blues find touch 7m out from the line out. They win the line out, form a maul and draw the Crusaders in. The Blues go wide but get pushed back a little.

3.00: The Blues keep the ball moving through the hands but after Melani Nanai is tackled the ball goes dead. Good defence from the Crusaders.

5.00: The Crusaders win the scrum and kick deep to the Blues.

6.00: The Blues test the Crusaders defence but the visiting side suck up their attacks. The ball changes sides a few times but neither side can break through.

9.00: Penalty to the Blues. They kick to the corner and will take the line out again.

12.00: The Blues win another penalty after a scrum and this time it is in front of the posts.

13.00: Otere Black lines up the kick and takes the shot. He nails it. The Blues lead.

14.00: The Crusaders form a ruck after the restart and they move the ball out to Braydon Ennor who slices through the Blues backs and offloads to George Bridge. The Crusaders winger races down the line but is caught and a likely try is prevented by a scrambling Blues defensive system.

18.00: The Crusaders win a scrum on the Blues 22 line and kick wide to the opposite wing. Blues fullback Michael Collins fumbles the ball and Manasa Mataele pounces on it and scores. TRY! 

19.00: The conversion is missed but the Crusaders lead.

23.00: Penalty to the Crusaders. Richie Mo’unga takes the kick but he misses this one as well.

25.00: The Crusaders win a line out in the Blues 22. They form a maul and drive over the try line. Referee Nick Briant puts his arm in the air for a penalty try – and Tom Robinson is yellow carded. The conversion is automatically added so it’s 7 points.

29.00: The Crusaders press the Blues back into their half and put the pressure on. The pressure pays off as the Blues knock on giving the Crusaders a scrum in the Blues half.

30.00: Penalty from the scrum. The Crusaders kick for touch.

31.00: The Crusaders win the line out and use the maul again. This time the Blues are more alert and slow the maul. The Crusaders go to the blindside but the Blues slow them. There was advantage so the Crusaders have a penalty. They kick for touch.

35.00: The Blues defend the Crusaders line out and maul and press the Crusaders out of their 22. The Blues kick wide to Melani Nanai who gets the ball but is tackled into touch.

38.00: The Crusaders pass the ball down the line to the wing but there is a forward pass. The Blues win the ball from the scrum and attack. They get almost to the Crusaders 22 and get the advantage. The final pass goes to ground so the Blues get the penalty and kick to the corner.

40.00; The Blues win the line out and move the ball across the field. The Crusaders scramble as Nanai goes for the corner but is stopped. The Blues recycle and this time Akira Ioane goes over the line but is held up.

It’s half time.

The half time score was Blues 3 Crusaders 12

The Crusaders kick off and the second half is underway.

43.00: The Blues hold on to the ball and run it into the Crusaders half. The Crusaders turn the ball over and they run it deep into the Blues half. The Blues then turn the ball over and Collins passes the ball to Patrick Tuipulotu who offloads to big Akira Ioane who races away and scores. TRY !

44.00: The conversion is added by Otere Black. Explosive start from the Blues.

The Blues win a penalty and kick to the corner as they feel they have the Crusaders under some pressure.

45.00: Crusaders second rower  Scott Barrett reads the Blues line out and wins the line out ball.

46.00: The Blues win a free kick and tap it. The run the ball into the Crusaders 22 where they win a penalty. The Crusaders also get a warning for illegal play. The Blues choose a scrum for the penalty and bring on some replacements for the front row.

47.00: There is a knock on in the scrum by Bryn Hall who was trying to steal the ball. The Blues get a second put in and move the ball wide. It goes to ground but the Blues are called back for a penalty as the scrum collapsed. The Blues take the scrum option again. It collapses. Another penalty.

50.00: Sonny Bill Williams comes on. The Blues win the scrum and they drive towards the line using their big forwards. Akira Ioane is stopped but the Crusaders are unable to stop  Ofa Tu’ungafasi who scores. TRY!

52.00: Black adds the conversion. The Blues lead. Luke Romano has come on for Jordan Taufua.

53.00: Wow. The second half has been all the Blues. The Crusaders win a scrum. They pass an inside ball to George Bridge who slices through, gets into the Blues 22 and sends a wide ball out to Mataele who dives over and scores in the corner. TRY! 

54.00: Mo’unga misses the conversion so the scores are level.

58.00: The Crusaders have upped the pressure. They drive towards the line after a line out and Matt Todd stretches out to score but he is short.

61.00: The Crusaders win a scrum on the 5m line. As Mitchell Drummond goes to clear the ball he is flattened by Jonathan Ruru. The Crusaders get another scrum. They drive forward but there is illegal play and another penalty try is awarded ! Tom Sanders would have scored anyway so it changes little. Crusaders lead.

66.00: The Blues push the Crusaders into their 22 and Ben Funnell is yellow carded. They were on a warning. The Crusaders bring Andrew Makalio back on so that they have a pack for a scrum.

67.00: The Blues win a scrum in the Crusaders 22. They come close to losing the ball but recycle it and continue the attack. The Crusaders defend and grind down the Blues momentum.

69.00: The Crusaders win a scrum in their 22 and kick for touch to clear the ball and relieve some pressure.

71.00: The Blues get the ball to the Crusaders 5m line. They go through the phases and have the advantage. Augustine Pulu slips through and scores. TRY!

73.00: Plummer takes the conversion – he misses it!! The Crusaders still lead.

75.00: The Blues attack down the line and look dangerous – Mataele gets a hand to the ball and it goes to ground. The TMO is called upon to see if it is an intentional knock down. The replay reveals it is not. Straight knock on.

76.00: Penalty to the Blues ! It’s kickable. Plummer will have a shot. He misses. Just.

78.00: The Blues have the ball near the half way line. The Crusaders are back to 15 players and they force the Blues into touch.

79.00: The Crusaders win the ball from the line out and grind down the clock. There is a hand in the ruck so the Crusaders have a penalty. They kick it into touch and win the match.

80.00: The Crusaders have won.

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The full time score is Blues 22(3) Crusaders 24(12)


Tries -A. Ioane,  O.Tu’ungafasi, A.Pulu
Pen – O.Black
Con – O.Black, H. Plummer
Drop –
Cards – T.Robinson (25th minute yellow)

Tries – M.Mataele 2, Penalty try 2
Pen –
Con – Penalty try conversion 2
Drop –
Cards –  B.Funnell (66th min yellow)

Match Officials
Referee: Nick Briant
Assistant Ref 1: Federico Anselmi
Assistant Ref 2:Dan Waenga
TMO :Ben Skeen



15 Michael Collins, 14 Melani Nanai, 13 Ma’a Nonu, 12 TJ Faiane, 11 Rieko Ioane, 10 Otere Black, 9 Jonathan Ruru; 8 Akira Ioane, 7 Dalton Papalii, 6 Tom Robinson, 5 Josh Goodhue, 4 Patrick Tuipulotu (c), 3 Sione Mafileo, 2 James Parsons, 1 Alex Hodgman.

Replacements: 16 Matt Moulds, 17 Karl Tu’inukuafe, 18 Ofa Tu’ungafasi, 19 Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, 20 Matt Matich, 21 Augustine Pulu, 22 Harry Plummer, 23 Sonny Bill Williams.


1. Joe Moody, 2. Andrew Makalio ,3. Owen Franks , 4. Scott Barrett ,5. Quinten Strange 6. Jordan Taufua , 7. Matt Todd (C) , 8. Whetukamokamo Douglas , 9. Bryn Hall 23. Will Jordan*, 10. Richie Mo’unga , 11. George Bridge , 12. Ryan Crotty (VC) , 13. Braydon Ennor , 14. Manasa Mataele , 15. David Havili

Replacements : 16. Ben Funnell , 17. Tim Perry ,18. Michael Alaalatoa ,19. Luke Romano ,20. Tom Sanders ,21. Mitchell Drummond ,22. Mitchell Hunt


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