The Blues have won four of their last five Super Rugby matches against the Hurricanes (L1) including each of their last two, after losing nine consecutive games against them.
The Blues have won their last two Super Rugby games at home against the Hurricanes; the last and only previous time they won more home games in succession against them was a four-game stretch in their first four meetings in the competition (1997-2003).
- Leon MacDonald’s side has won their last seven Super Rugby matches on the bounce; the last and only time they enjoyed a longer winning run in the competition was a 12-match span from March to May in 1997.
- The Hurricanes will be looking to avoid opening a campaign with back-to-back defeats for the third time in their last four Super Rugby tournaments after succumbing to a 42-32 loss to the Crusaders in Round 1 of Super Rugby Pacific.
- Jason Holland’s men have won only two of their last 10 Super Rugby games played against New Zealand opposition (L8), with both of their wins coming against the Highlanders.
- The Canes beat a total of 33 defenders throughout the first round of the 2022 Super Rugby Pacific competition, 14 more than any other team in the competition.
- The Wellington side made 46 dominant carries in the opening round of the 2022 Super Rugby Pacific season, 16 more than the next-best Crusaders (30).
Players to watch
- No players made more offloads in the opening round of the 2022 Super Rugby Pacific campaign than Hurricanes’ duo Jordie Barrett (4) and Billy Proctor (4); the Melbourne Rebels’ Matt Philip also made four.
- Mark Telea (Blues) has crossed for a try in each of his last three games in Super Rugby after having never previously scored tries in consecutive games in his career in the competition.
- Ruben Love (Hurricanes) has scored a try in each of his last two appearances in Super Rugby after having never previously crossed the stripe in six career games.
We are waiting for the kick-off.
1.00: PEEEP! We are underway at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin.
3.00: A good start for the Blues ends when they give up a penalty. Jordie Barrett clears to the halfway line, but the Hurricanes lose their lineout, sparking a Blues counter-attack. After several phases, the Auckland man earn a penalty. Harry Plummer goes to the corner.
4.00: Roger Tuivasa-Sheck almost sends Rieko Ioane under the posts with an offload, but a couple of phases later, the Blues are held up for a goal-line drop-out.
6.00: NO TRY! A 14-phase attack ends with a penalty under the posts. Barrett’s intercept attempt killed the Blues’ four on one attack.
7.00: PENALTY! Plummer opens the scoring. 3-0
10.00: It’s all Blues as MacDonald’s men hog possession and territory in the opening exchanges. hurricanes can’t get a touch.
12.00: The pace and intensity of the Blues is too much for the Hurricanes, who are leaking penalties in their 22.
13.00: MISS! Plummer cannot double the lead. 3-0
14.00: TRY! Salesi Rayasi intercepts Zarn Sullivan’s floated pass, and races 50 metres to score his ninth Super Rugby try under the posts. 3-5
15.00: CONVERSION! Barrett adds the extras. 3-7
18.00: IT’s all Blues (90% possession, 85% territory), but they are down by four.
21.00: Barrett wins a turnover near his try line to save the Canes.
23.00: TRY! Kurt Eklund crashes over for his eighth Super Rugby try after a powerful driving maul. 8-7
24.00: CONVERSION! Plummer lands the wide kick. 10-7
27.00: Blues looking to play up-tempo at every opportunity; taking quick-taps; quick lineouts, as they look to stretch the Hurricanes.
29.00: TRY! A superb attack ends with Caleb Clarke dotting down by the posts after sublime play by Plummer, Tuivasa-Sheck, and Sullivan. 15-7
30.00: CONVERSION! Plummer makes no mistake. 17-7
32.00: Barrett’s linebreak in midfield sets up the Canes inisde the Blues’ 22. The Auckland cover defence is breached after Wes Goosen grabs his 26th Super Rugby try in the righthand corner after collecting Bailyn Sullivan’s deft grubber. 17-12
34.00: CONVERSION! Barrett makes no mistake. 17-14
35.00: A forward pass by Tuivasa-Sheck kills a certain try; however, the Blues have a penalty by the Hurricanes’ 5m.
36.00: TRY! Another rolling maul brings five points. Eklund has a brace. 22-14
38.00: CONVERSION! Plummer adds two more. 24-17
40.00: A 10-phase Hurricanes attack ends with a knock-on on the Blues try line.
42.00: Plummer misreads the clock allowing the Canes a last-gasp lineout attack inside the 22, but Tom Robinson wins the ball to end the half. Phew!
The halftime score was Blues 24 Hurricanes 14
41.00: PEEEP! We are back underway in New Zealand.
44.00: Superb work by Iaone at the breakdown sees Sullivan almost find a 50/22.
46.00: PENALTY! Plummer adds three more. 27-14
50.00: The intensity has dropped a bit, and their is too many reset scrums.
52.00: Hoskins Sotutu is caught under his poles with his hand in the cookie jar. Ardie Savea opts for the scrum. Good call!
53.00: Good defending by Finlay Christie, who knocks the ball out of Jamie Booth’s hands to win the turnover.
57.00: MacDonald’s men looking dangerous every time they go wide. Canes keep kicking away possession, but Blues’ handling has been iffy since the restart. Mark Telea with two errors, one kicking out of hand into touch, and a knock-on.
60.00: Both coaches making changes to their packs as the game enters the last quarter.
65.00: German exchange student Anton Segner makes his Super Rugby debut for the Blues.
68.00: TRY! Marcel Renata and Telea both went close before James Doleman asked the TMO to check, and award, Sam Darry a try. 32-14
69.00: MISS! Plummer’s kick hits the post. 32-14
71.00: TRY! Rayasi has two, this game is not over. 32-19
72.00: CONVERSION! The kick is good. 32-21
74.00: The game is slowing down with the reset scrums again. Hurricanes are running out of time.
76.00: Good defensive ruck from the Blues to win a releiving penalty, and all but see out the game.
80.00: TRY! Sensational comeback by the Hurricanes, who overturned a massive three-score deficit to win the game after Savea’s try under the posts with seconds remaining. 32-31
81.00: CONVERSION! Love wins it for the Canes – WOW! 32-33
The final score is Blues 32 (24) Hurricanes 33 (14)
Tries – Eklund (2), Clarke, Darry
Pen – Plummer (2)
Con – Plummer (3)
Tries – Rayasi (3), Goosen, A. Savea
Con – J. Barrett (2), Love (2)
Referee: James Doleman
Assistant Ref 1: Paul Williams
Assistant Ref 2: Marcus Playle
TMO: Chris Hart
15 Zarn Sullivan, 14 Mark Telea, 13 Rieko Ioane, 12 Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, 11 Caleb Clarke, 10 Harry Plummer, 9 Finlay Christie, 8 Hoskins Sotutu, 7 Adrian Choat, 6 Tom Robinson (captain), 5 Josh Goodhue, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Kurt Eklund, 1 Alex Hodgman
Replacements: 16 Ricky Riccitelli, 17 Ofa Tu’ungafasi, 18 Marcel Renata, 19 Sam Darry, 20 Anton Segner, 21 Sam Nock, 22 Stephen Perofeta, 23 Tanielu Tele’a
15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Wes Goosen, 13 Bailyn Sullivan, 12 Julian Savea, 11 Salesi Rayasi, 10 Jackson Garden-Bachop, 9 Jamie Booth, 8 Ardie Savea (captain), 7 Blake Gibson, 6 Reed Prinsep, 5 Justin Sangster, 4 James Blackwell, 3 Tyrel Lomax, 2 Asafo Aumua, 1 Pouri Rakete-Stones
Replacements: 16 Jacob Devery, 17 Xavier Numia, 18 Ben May, 19 Devan Flanders, 20 Brayden Iose, 21 Richard Judd, 22 Ruben Love, 23 Peter Umaga-Jensen