Super Rugby

Blues beat Melbourne Rebels in Auckland

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The Blues have won three of their last four Super Rugby matches against the Melbourne Rebels (L1), including a 50-3 win in their most recent meeting (Round 1, 2021 Super Rugby Trans-Tasman); it’s the Blues’ second biggest win against any team in the history of the competition (60-7 v Hurricanes – 22 February 2002).

The Melbourne Rebels won their most recent Super Rugby match in New Zealand against the Blues (20-10, 2 June 2018) after losing all their three prior meetings.

  • The Blues have won 16 of their last 17 Super Rugby matches (L1), including their last nine on the bounce – the last and only time they enjoyed a longer winning run in the competition was a 12-match span in 1997 in which they became Super Rugby champions.
  • The Melbourne Rebels won their most recent Super Rugby match outside Victoria (22-21 v Western Force – 8 April 2022), snapping a seven-match losing run in such fixtures.
  • Melbourne will be aiming for back-to-back wins outside Victoria for the first time since April 2021.
  • The Blues have won their last seven Super Rugby matches against Australian opposition; the last – and only – time they enjoyed a longer winning run, was a 10-match span from April 2016 to May 2018.
  • The Rebels have, however, made dominant contact on 28% of their total carries (257/914), the best rate of any team in the competition; the Blues (26%) are ranked third in this category (Hurricanes – 27%).
  • Leon MacDonald’s side has crossed the gainline on 66% of their carries (611/932), the best rate of any team in the competition, higher than Kevin Foote’s side (55%).
  • The Rebels (168) and Blues (156) have gained the most and third most metres from mauls of any teams this season (Crusaders – 165).

Players to watch

  • Beauden Barrett has made 11 kicks in play per 80 minutes, the most of any player in the competition, and five more than any Melbourne Rebels player.
  • James Hanson (50 Super Rugby caps for the Rebels) has scored five tries in his last five starts, including a brace against Moana Pasifika in Round 11.

Match detail

We are waiting for the kick-off.

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

1.00: PEEEP! We are underway for the first Trans-Tasman clash in New Zealand in 2022.

2.00: TRY! The Blues get it horribly wrong at lineout time, and the Rebels charge their way to the line. Richard Hardwick went close before Pone Fa’amausili crashes through Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and Jordan Lay to dot down next to the right post. 0-5

2.00: CONVERSION! Reece Hodge adds the extras. 0-7

4.00: Stephen Perofeta’s kick is charged down for a lineout on the home team’s 10m.

5.00: TRY! The Blues attempt another quick lineout inside their half, and it ended badly. Josh Canham intercepted Finlay Christie and raced away untouched. 0-12

6.00: CONVERSION! Hodge makes no mistake. 0-14

8.00: TRY! The hosts hit back with their first attack after a midfield break and saw Rieko Ioane carry into the 22. The ball was shifted to Hoskins Soututu, who sent a long cut-out pass to Akira Ioane alone on the wing. 5-14

9.00: CONVERSION! Perofeta slots the touchline conversion. 7-14

11.00: Last week, the scrum was a weapon for the Blues. This week, they start with another penalty from the set piece.

12.00: Josh Canham is caught offside from another linebreak. Perofeta kicks to the corner.

13.00: TRY! Akira Ioane picks up from the back of the fallen maul and breaks right to wipe out the opposition’s lead. 12-14

14.00: CONVERSION! Perofeta splits the posts to level the scores. 14-14

17.00: Hodge boots a penalty for a high tackle by Roger Tuivasa-Sheck to the Blues’ half.

19.00: Good work at the breakdown from the Rebels to win the turnover penalty near their try line.

22.00: TRY! Ofa Tu’ungafasi combined with Akira Ioane to send Christie away under the posts. 19-14

23.00: CONVERSION! The kick is good. 21-14

25.00: TRY! Caleb Clarke breaks from the restart and beats several defenders before being brought down inside the 22. The Blues swung the ball wide to Mark Telea, who popped inside to the supporting Tucker to score. 26-14

26.00: CONVERSION! Perofeta is on fire! 28-14

28.00: Rebels are falling off tackles at an alarming rate.

31.00: TRY! Akira Ioane is stopped short of the line. Sotutu picked up the ball, looked right, and dived over untouched for another score. 33-14

33.00: CONVERSION! The kick is good. 35-14

36.00: TRY! Zarn Sullivan finds space on the wing and races to the 22 before sending Rieko Ioane to score his 43rd Super Rugby try. 40-14

38.00: CONVERSION! Perofeta slots the touchline conversion. 42-14

39.00: TRY! Another scintillating break from inside their own half sees Telea take Rieko Ioane’s pass to finish acrobatically in the righthand corner. WOW! 47-14

41.00: MISS! The kick is wide. 47-14

The halftime score was Blues 47 Melbourne Rebels 14

41.00: PEEEP! We are back underway in New Zealand.

43.00: No tries yet, what’s going on?

45.00: Rebels go to the corner, but their lineout maul goes nowhere. The Blues hold the visitors to nothing and the attack fizzles out.

48.00: A well-worked lineout comes to nothing as the Blues win the turnover to counter-attack; however, the ball is lost forward by the hosts.

52.00: TRY! Perofeta sends Rieko Ioane away to bag a brace and become the Blues second-highest scorer of all time with 44 SR tries. 52-14

53.00: CONVERSION! Perofeta adds the two. 54-14

55.00: It’s all Blues, just how many they will get.

57.00: TRY! Bryce Heem sends Perofeta away after a dazzling run by the substitute set up the score. 59-14

59.00: CONVERSION! Perofeta makes it 61-14

63.00: HAT-TRICK! Rieko takes Perofeta’s deft pass to ghost through a massive hole for a treble. 66-14

65.00: MISS! The kick is no good. 66-14

68.00: The Blues looking for more as they attack inside the 22.

70.00: Held up, no advantage. We go back for a Blues’ penalty.

73.00: Heem is pinged for not rolling, Carter Gordon’s kick is not out. Perofeta clears past his 22.

74.00: TRY! Brad Wilkin goes over for his team’s third. 66-19

75.00: CONVERSION! Hodge slots the kick. 66-21

77.00: TRY! Clarke is over for his side’s record-equalling 11th try of the game. 71-21

78.00: MISS! No good. 71-21

80.00: TRY! Hodge gets another score for the Rebels. 71-26

82.00: CONVERSION! Hodge slots the kick. 71-28

FULL TIME

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The final score is Blues 71 (47) Rebels 28 (14)

Scorers

Blues
Tries – A. Ioane (2), Christie, Tucker, Sotutu, R. Ioane (3), Telea, Perofeta, Clarke
Pen –
Con – Perofeta (8)
Drop –
Cards –

Rebels
Tries – Fa’amausili, Canham, Wilkin, Hodge
Pen –
Con – Hodge (4)
Drop –
Cards –

Match Officials
Referee: Graham Cooper
Assistant Ref 1: Ben O’Keeffe
Assistant Ref 2: Jono Bredin
TMO: Aaron Paterson

Teams

Blues: 15 Zarn Sullivan,14 Mark Telea, 13 Rieko Ioane, 12 Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, 11 Caleb Clarke, 10 Stephen Perofeta, 9 Finlay Christie, 8 Hoskins Sotutu, 7 Dalton Papalii (captain), 6 Akira Ioane, 5 Tom Robinson, 4 James Tucker, 3 Ofa Tu’ungafasi, 2 Kurt Eklund, 1 Jordan Lay.

Replacements: 16 Soane Vikena, 17 Karl Tu’inukuafe, 18 Nepo Laulala, 19 Sam Darry, 20 Adrian Choat, 21 Sam Nock, 22 Bryce Heem, 23 AJ Lam.

Melbourne Rebels: 15 Reece Hodge, 14 Andrew Kellaway, 13 Lukas Ripley, 12 Stacey Ili, 11 George Worth, 10 Carter Gordon, 9 Joe Powell, 8 Rob Leota, 7 Richard Hardwick, 6 Brad Wilkin, 5 Josh Canham, 4 Matt Philip (captain), 3 Pone Fa’amausili, 2 James Hanson, 1 Matt Gibbon.

Replacements: 16 Efi Ma’afu, 17 Cameron Orr, 18 Cabous Eloff, 19 Daniel Maiava, 20 Tamati Ioane, 21 Moses Sorovi, 22 Nick Jooste, 23 Glen Vaihu.

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