The first Super Rugby match of round 16 on Saturday is in Auckland where Melbourne’s Rebels face hosts the Blues at Eden Park.
Auckland’s Blues have played the Rebels six times in Super Rugby since they joined the tournament in 2011 and the Blues have won four matches and lost two.
- The Blues have won four of the previous six games between these teams in Super Rugby, including each of their last two and a 38-point win in their last meeting – the biggest win in the history of the fixture.
- The Blues are undefeated in their, last 11 games against Australian opposition (W10, D1), though eight of those 10 wins came by single-figure margins.
- The Rebels head into this fixture on the back of consecutive victories and have now won six games this campaign, a seventh victory would equal their most wins in a single Super Rugby season.
- The Blues average a competition-high 124 carries per game this season; however, they’ve made fewer than 100 carries in four of their last seven games.
- Amanaki Mafi has made 185 carries this season, more than any other player, while he’s gained 1005 metres, almost twice as many as any other forward (Kwagga Smith next on 524m).
We are waiting for the kick-off.
1.00: PEEEEP! We are underway in New Zealand.
6.00: PENALTY! Stephen Perofeta puts the Blues on the board.
12.00: TRY! Billy Meakes is over for the game’s first try.
13.00: Conversion! Dane Haylett-Petty adds the extras.
24.00: The Rebels think they’ve scored but the TMO over-rules.
35.00: TRY! Terrence Hepetema crosses for the Blues.
37.00: Conversion! Perofeta adds the extras.
39.00: TRY! Dane Haylett-Petty hits back for the Rebels.
40.00: MISS! The conversion sails wide.
The halftime score was Blues 10 Rebels 12
41.00: PEEEEP! We are back underway at Eden Park.
43.00: TRY! Meakes at the double. Marika Koroibete collects the grubber-kick and plays Meakes for his second.
44.00: MISS! The kick is pulled wide.
46.00: NO TRY! The Blues rumble over the try-line, but there is no angle to show grounding. TMO over-rules Matt Moulds’ score.
49.00: Matt Duffie loses the ball in the act of grounding. Scrum Rebels.
52.00: The Blues are camped inside the Rebels half, going through 10 then eight phases, winning penalties. They go for a lineout.
54.00: The Blues botch the lineout. Scrum to the visitors.
58.00: The Rebels are awarded a penalty; they opt for poles.
59.00: PENALTY! Reece Hodge kicks a long-range penalty to give the Rebels a 10-point lead.
63.00: The Australians are dominating at the ruck and have had most of the possession. The Blues have made twice as many tackles as the Rebels.
66.00: The mistakes are creeping into the game. The Rebels win another penalty and kick into the Blues half.
69.00: The Blues cannot finish off their opportunities. Time is starting to run out.
72.00: The Blues have some possession, kick the ball away, and then find themselves under pressure.
74.00: The Rebels are kicking to the corner instead of taking the points.
77.00: A powerful driving maul is halted, but the Rebels break blind and Marika Koroibete is almost over. The winger stepped into touch, so no try.
79.00: The Rebels are camped inside the Blues 22. They are going to hold out for a superb victory.
81.00: A bizarre ending to the game; Michael Collins throws a wild pass over the dead-ball line after trying to run the ball out of their 22.
The final score is Blues 10 (10) Rebels 20 (12)
Tries – Hepetema
Pen – Perofeta
Con – Perofeta
Tries – Meakes (2), D. Haylett-Petty
Pen – Hodge
Con – Hodge
Referee: Nick Briant
Assistant Ref 1: Brendon Pickerill
Assistant Ref 2: Angus Mabey
TMO: Ben Skeen
15 Michael Collins, 14 Matt Duffie, 13 Orbyn Leger, 12 Terrence Hepetema, 11 Tumua Manu, 10 Stephen Perofeta, 9 Augustine Pulu (captain), 8 Akira Ioane, 7 Dalton Papalii, 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Matiaha Martin, 4 Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, 3 Ofa Tu’ungafasi, 2 Matt Moulds, 1 Alex Hodgman.
Replacements: 16 Leni Apisai, 17 Pauliasi Manu, 18 Sione Mafileo, 19 Ben Nee-Nee, 20 Sione Havili, 21 Jonathan Ruru, 22 Bryn Gatland, 23 Thomas Faiane.
15 Dane Haylett-Petty, 14 Jack Maddocks, 13 Tom English, 12 Billy Meakes, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Reece Hodge, 9 Michael Ruru, 8 Amanaki Mafi, 7 Colby Fainga’a, 6 Angus Cottrell, 5 Adam Coleman (captain), 4 Matt Philip, 3 Jermaine Ainsley, 2 Anaru Rangi, 1 Fereti Sa’aga.
Replacements: 16 Jordan Uelese, 17 Ben Daley, 18 Sam Talakai, 19 Geoff Parling, 20 Ross Haylett-Petty, 21 Harrison Goddard, 22 Tayler Adams, 23 Lopeti Timani.