The Blues have played the Crusaders 34 times in Super Rugby since 1996, the Blues have won 11 matches and lost 23 times.
The Blues 11 wins out of 34 matches gives them a record of winning 32% of their games against the Crusaders regardless of venue.
- The Crusaders have won their last 10 Super Rugby games on the bounce against the Blues, conceding an average of just 17 points per game across that period.
- The Blues have lost 25 of their last 28 New Zealand derbies in Super Rugby (W2, D1); both of their wins in that span came last season against the Highlanders (Rd 6) and Chiefs (Rd 14).
- The Crusaders have made the most offloads (24) of any side this Super Rugby season, nine more than the next best (Jaguares – 15).
- The Auckland-based franchise and Stormers are the two teams remaining yet to concede a single point inside the first quarter of matches this Super Rugby season.
- Only the Melbourne Rebels’ Dane Haylett-Petty (16) has beaten more defenders than the Crusaders’ David Havili and the Blues’ Mark Telea (14 each) in the 2020 Super Rugby season.
We are waiting for the kick-off.
Crusaders coach Scott Robertson has had to reshuffle his loose-forwards for this all New Zealand contest due to Whetukamokamo Douglas’ injury as well as a couple of changes to the backs.
Blues Head Coach Leon MacDonald has also rung the changes for the ‘Saders to include all his side’s All Blacks for round three.
In the meantime, why not have a look at the match preview.
1.00: PEEEEP! We are underway in round three in Auckland at Eden Park.
2.00: The first scrum goes to the Blues after a knock-on from a high-ball. The set-piece is reset, obviously.
4.00: Dalton Papalii’s mistake could have led to a Crusaders scrum, but the defending champions play the advantage, pinning the Blues inside their 22 with a good kick.
5.00: Blues have a penalty-advantage. Stephen Perofeta kicks through and regathers his kick, kick-starting an attack inside the ‘Saders’ half.
6.00: TRY! Perofeta slipped Oliver Jager’s tackle (who was injured in the play, clashing heads with Cullen Grace) before being tackled by Richie Mo’unga. The Blues recycled quickly then Patrick Tuipulotu used his strength to reach over the chalk to score. It was a wonderful try that went 10 phases. 5-0
7.00: MISS! Perofeta cannot add the extras. 5-0
8.00: Jager is replaced by Michael Alaalatoa, while Josh Goodhue, who had a high-ankle sprain, is off for Tom Robinson.
10.00: David Havili goes close, but the Blues stop the attack before clearing their lines.
11.00: Another penalty goes the Crusaders’ way; Mo’unga kicks to the corner.
12.00: Great defensive maul by the Blues, who won the turnover thanks to Blake Gibson’s good work. Scrum to the hosts inside their 22.
13.00: Blues win the penalty and clear.
16.00: MacDonald’s men are having the better of the opening quarter; however, Havili convinces the officials that Perofeta’s kick is out on the full, so we go back inside the Blues’ half.
18.00: Crusaders win the penalty for offsides. They will take a shot at goal, this time.
19.00: PENALTY! Havili gets the visitors on the board from in front. 5-3
20.00: Crusaders win the Blues’ lineout and start a counter-attack from their 22. Joe Moody carries forward, but Scott Barrett loses the ball in contact. Scrum to the Blues.
22.00: The far side of the scrum collapses; it’s reset again.
23.00: George Bridge cleans up Perofeta’s speculative grubber, the Crusaders attack and win the penalty. Mo’unga’s kick does not find touch and the Blues counter-attack from their half.
24.00: There are some big hits in this game. Gibson smoked Tom Christie in the previous play before Barrett’s big tackle.
25.00: Mo’unga puts another kick into the corner after offsides.
25.00: TRY! Bridge walks over in the corner after Jack Goodhue’s chicken-wing before contact. The try came from a broken lineout, but the ball was played quickly to the Crusaders’ backs. 5-8
26.00: MISS! Havili misses from out wide. 5-8
27.00: OH, DEAR! The Blues put the ball out from the kick-off.
29.00: Mo’unga switches to the left from the centre-field scrum and charged towards the Blues’ 22, but the attack breaks down because of a knock-on.
31.00: Karl Tu’inukuafe looks baffled as he is pinged by the referee for a scrum infringement.
32.00: PENALTY! Havili makes no mistake from in front, on the 22. 5-11
35.00: Blues win a penalty at the ruck; Perofeta clears to halfway.
36.00: Sevu Reece breaks to the Blues’ 22, but is tackled by Perofeta. Thomas Faiane wraps up Mo’unga, winning the penalty after a tackle on Mo’unga.
37.00: Bryn Hall knock-on, killing a promising attack inside the opposition’s half.
39.00: The scrum is reset yet again. The home team is trailing despite having 62 per cent possession and 57 per cent territory.
40.00: Blues win a penalty; Perofeta kicks to the opposition’s 10m.
41.00: Another lineout is lost, this time with a skew throw. That’s the third lineout lost by the hosts, while the visitors are nine from nine.
42.00: BIG SCRUM by the champs, they win a scrum-penalty, and Havili will take a massive long-range kick from his 10m and slightly to the right of the poles. It’s a 61-metre attempt with the wind behind the fullback.
43.00: MISS! The fullback’s kick is shanked well wide of the posts. 5-11
45.00: TRY! Mo’unga ghosts through a big hole to extend his team’s lead.
46.00: CONVERSION! Havili adds the extras. 8-18
The halftime score was Blues 5 Crusaders 11
41.00: PEEEEP! We are back underway in Auckland.
42.00: Harry Plummer is on for Matt Duffie, in a tactical switch by MacDonald, and he immediately has a chance to reduce the gap with a shot at goal.
43.00: PENALTY! Plummer makes no mistake. 8-11
45.00: Mo’unga ghosts through a big hole to score under the sticks. The first-five was involved with Jack Goodhue and Michael Alaalatoa, in the build-up, before dotting down under the sticks. 8-16
46.00: CONVERSION! Havili adds the two. 8-18
49.00: The ‘Saders are in control, the Blues struggling.
53.00: The home side cannot find any attacking momentum, they are mostly defending.
56.00: Karl Tu’inukuafe is baffled as he is pinged for a second scrum infringement.
57.00: TRY! Goodhue scores under the posts after his dink-kick is flipped back by Mo’unga, under pressure from Sam Nock. The try is awarded after a TMO review. 8-23
58.00: CONVERSION! Havili slots the easy kick. 8-25
60.00: Blues win a penalty under the visitor’s posts; they opt for a scrum, which is reset.
62.00: Tom Christie is penalised at the ruck. Plummer kicks to the corner, but his kick is about 10 metres out.
64.00: The Blues go through the phases before losing the ball forward. A scuffle breaks out after the play ends, but nothing comes of it.
67.00: The Crusaders scrum is demolishing their hosts; this game is over.
70.00: The home team cannot get out of their half.
73.00: Another handling error kills an attack for MacDonald’s men. It’s all going wrong in the City of Sails.
74.00: NO TRY! Will Jordan thinks he’s scored, but he was way in front of the kicker when he chased the kick. 8-25
76.00: Another handling error kills a Blues’ attack.
78.00: Big scrum by the visitors, winning another penalty to clear.
80.00: The hooter sounds, but the Crusaders keep attacking.
82.00: The Blues work their way deep into the opposition’s half, they win another penalty; Plummer kicks to the corner.
84.00: The Blues pound away at the ‘Saders’ line, but cannot find a way through the red wall. Eventually, the attack breaks down before another handling error finishes off the match.
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The final score is Blues 8 (5) Crusaders 25 (11)
Tries – Tuipulotu
Pen – Plummer
Tries – Bridge, Mo’unga, J. Goodhue
Pen – D. Havili (2)
Con – D. Havili (2)
Referee: Paul Williams
Assistant Ref 1: Brendon Pickerill
Assistant Ref 2: Angus Mabey
TMO: Shane McDermott
Head Coach: Leon MacDonald
15 Matt Duffie, 14 Jordan Hyland, 13 Joe Marchant, 12 Thomas Faiane, 11 Mark Telea, 10 Stephen Perofeta, 9 Jonathan Ruru, 8 Hoskins Sotutu, 7 Blake Gibson, 6 Dalton Papalii, 5 Josh Goodhue, 4 Patrick Tuipulotu (captain), 3 Ofa Tuungafasi, 2 James Parsons, 1 Karl Tu’inukuafe.
Replacements: 16 Kurt Eklund, 17 Ezekiel Lindenmuth, 18 Sione Mafileo, 19 Tom Robinson, 20 Tony Lamborn, 21 Sam Nock, 22 Harry Plummer, 23 Emoni Narawa.
Head Coach: Scott ‘Razor’ Robertson
15 David Havili, 14 Sevu Reece, 13 Braydon Ennor, 12 Jack Goodhue, 11 George Bridge, 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Tom Sanders, 7 Tom Christie, 6 Cullen Grace, 5 Mitchell Dunshea, 4 Scott Barrett (captain), 3 Oliver Jager, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Joe Moody.
Replacements: 16 Andrew Makalio, 17 George Bower, 18 Michael Alaalatoa, 19 Luke Romano, 20 Sione Havili, 21 Mitchell Drummond, 22 Brett Cameron, 23 Will Jordan.