The Chiefs have played the Blues 33 times in Super Rugby since 1996, the Chiefs have won 21 matches, lost 11 times, and drawn once.
The Chiefs 21 wins give them a record of winning 64% of their matches against the Blues regardless of venue.
- The Hamilton-based franchise lost only one of their last 17 Super Rugby games against the Blues (W15, D1) and earned a 37-29 win when they met in the opening round of the 2020 Super Rugby season.
- The Chiefs have won their last eight home games on the bounce against the Blues; however, five of those eight wins have been by a margin of seven points or fewer.
- Warren Gatland’s charges have lost their last two home games in Super Rugby; the last time they lost more home games in succession was a four-game stretch across the 2001 and 2002 campaigns.
- The Chiefs have trailed at half-time in each of their last eight Super Rugby games against New Zealand opposition; although, they have picked up three wins and a draw in that time (L4).
- The Blues have won their last four away games in Super Rugby; a fifth consecutive away win would set a new record for the franchise.
- The Auckland-based team have won their last five Super Rugby games on the bounce; the last time they won more was a seven-game streak in 2011.
- The Chiefs have conceded the opening try of the game in two of their last three Super Rugby games hosting fellow New Zealand opponents; however, they have managed to bounce back and win twice in that span (L1).
- Leon MacDonald’s side won 10 turnovers in their opening round clash of Super Rugby Aotearoa, their most in a game since Round 16, 2018 (11 v Rebels); the Auckland side haven’t won more than 10 turnovers in a game against the Chiefs since Round 8, 2015 (11).
- Damian McKenzie (Chiefs) has been directly involved in nine tries in his last nine Super Rugby appearances (3 tries, 6 try assists) and has scored 104 points in that span.
- Rieko Ioane (Blues) has scored three tries in his last three Super Rugby appearances against the Chiefs, including a brace in his most recent game against them.
- The Blues have not won away to the Chiefs in nine years.
We are waiting for the kick-off.
1.00: PEEEEP! Otere Black of the Blues gets us underway at a cold and damp Waikato Stadium in Hamilton. The visitors are chasing their first win in Hamilton since 2011, on what would have been the final of Super Rugby.
2.00: The Chiefs get the first – of what will be many penalties – after the Blues went over the top of the ruck. Damian McKenzie boots his team to the opposition’s 10m.
4.00: Despite losing lineout specialist Tom Robinson, the Blues win their first lineout, comfortably. After trying to set-up a driving maul, the Blues lose position.
5.00: The Chiefs win possession near the Blues try-line, but nothing comes of the turnover; instead, the Blues clear to halfway. A kicking contest ensues before the Sean Wainui takes the ball forward into Blues territory.
6.00: The Chiefs look good with ball in hand, however, the conditions mean we will see a lot of kicking, especially with the new laws in place.
8.00: The Chiefs keep the ball in hand, going 10 phases before winning a penalty after Dalton Papalii doesn’t release the attacking player. Cruden boots the ball to the corner flag.
9.00: OH, DEAR! The hosts botch their lineout, and the visitors can clear the ball down the field.
11.00: The Blues concede another penalty, and this time the Brad Weber opts for a shot at goal.
12.00: PENALTY! Damian McKenzie opens the scoring from in front. 3-0
13.00: Lachlan Boshier gives away a penalty at the ruck contesting the ball with Akira Ioane. Beauden Barrett’s banana kick is pin-point, giving the away team a 5m lineout.
15.00: TRY! Hoskins Sotutu, who has been outstanding this season, scores after a series of pick-and-drives by the visitors’ forwards. 3-5
16.00: CONVERSION! Black adds the extras. 3-7
19.00: The Blues are still conceding penalties at an alarming rate, five of the last six have gone against the visitors. Ofa Tuungafasi enters the ruck at the side; McKenzie calls for the tee.
21.00: PENALTY! McKenzie doubles his team’s tally. 6-7
23.00: Referee Ben O’Keeffe calls over Thomas Faiane, the Blues skipper, to talk about the multiple infringements – the penalty count is eight to one against the Auckland side.
25.00: The Chiefs turn down the kick at goal, then fluff their lineout. The turnovers are hurting Warren Gatland’s men.
27.00: The Chiefs win a penalty after a big scrum, and decide to take a long-range penalty.
28.00: MISS! McKenzie’s kick is just wide. 6-7
29.00: The Blues win a kickable penalty of their own, and Black will take a shot.
30.00: MISS! Black pushes his attempt wide of the post, his first miss of Super Rugby Aotearoa. 6-7
33.00: The Chiefs, after losing a tight-head earlier, put in a solid scrum, but turnover the ball with some poor handling. The Blues have an attacking scrum in centre-field on the opposition’s 22.
35.00: The scrum is reset. Big opportunity here for Leon MacDonald’s men.
37.00: The Blues, somehow, have stayed in this game; they have an opportunity to extend their lead after winning a penalty for offsides.
38.00: PENALTY! Black won’t miss from that close. 6-10
39.00: The Chiefs have the visitors o the backfoot; they look dangerous with their pick and drive.
40.00: YELLOW CARD! Dalton Papalii falls foul of Mr O’Keeffe, who has had enough. He pulls out a yellow card and sends the flanker to the sidelines.
41.00: PENALTY! McKenzie makes it a one-point ball-game. 9-10
The halftime score was Chiefs 9 Blues 10
The Blues have conceded 11 penalties to three, but the turnover count is 10-3 in their favour as well as the handling errors, which is 7-2 against the hosts.
41.00: PEEEEP! Aaron Cruden gets us back underway in Hamilton.
43.00: The penalties continue to mount. The Blues have a midfield scrum, but TJ Faiane loses the ball, and the Chiefs counter-attack into the opposition’s 22.
45.00: Barrett, who has not seen any ball, carries from his half, beats two defenders before being thumped to the turf. A kicking match ensues, ending with a lineout to the Blues on their 10m.
47.00: The tactics from both coaches seem to be “play in the opposition’s half at every turn” and “use lots of up-and-unders”, which makes sense because the conditions are slippery.
49.00: Unfortunately for the Blues, the ball bounces off Alex Hodgman’s boot and into touch. Chiefs have a defensive scrum on their 5m.
51.00: The Blues earn a penalty after a Chiefs side-entry.
53.00: PENALTY! Black slots the penalty. 9-13
55.00: Ofa Tuungafasi falls foul of the ref, who deems he did not roll “east to west”, rather “north to south”. McKenzie calls for the tee.
57.00: PENALTY! From 41 metres out and in front, the fullback bangs over his fourth goal. 12-13
60.00: A knock-on by the Chiefs is missed, Faiane loses the rolling ball forward and is pinged instead.
63.00: The Blues mount an attack, they go 10 phases into the Chiefs’ 22.
64.00: DROP-GOAL! You can’t keep Barrett out of the game, the fullback, knowing he had a penalty-advantage, takes his time, and slots the kick. 12-16
67.00: The penalties are starting to mount against the hosts.
68.00: The visitors are awarded another penalty, this time in a kickable position. Mr O’Keeffe gives Gatland’s men a warning. The next infringement is yellow.
69.00: PENALTY! Barrett slots his first penalty-goal for his new team. 12-19
71.00: The Chiefs look tired, the Blues have their tails up.
72.00: TRY! Talea scores in the corner after Sotutu’s long, skip pass opens up the outside for the winger. GAME OVER! 12-24
73.00: MISS! The kick is wide. 12-24
75.00: The Chiefs are into the Blues’ 22, they go through the phases, but the visitors keep them at bay.
77.00: The Chiefs have run out of steam, they can’t find a way over the chalk.
79.00: The Blues have possession, and are looking for more points.
81.00: The siren sounds, the Blues take the ball and boot it into the stands. The victory ends a nine-year wait for a win in Hamilton. Two from two for MacDonald’s men.
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The final score is Chiefs 12 (9) Blues 24 (10)
Pen – McKenzie (4)
Tries – Sotutu, Talea
Pen – Black (2), B. Barrett
Con – Black
Drop – B. Barrett
Cards – Papalii (Yellow, 41′)
Referee: Ben O’Keeffe
Assistant Ref 1: Mike Fraser
Assistant Ref 2: Paul Williams
TMO: James Doleman
15 Damian McKenzie, 14 Shaun Stevenson, 13 Quinn Tupaea, 12 Anton Lienert-Brown, 11 Sean Wainui, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Brad Weber (captain), 8 Pita Gus Sowakula, 7 Lachlan Boshier, 6 Luke Jacobson, 5 Naitoa Ah Kuoi, 4 Tupou Vaa’i, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Samisoni Taukei’aho, 1 Aidan Ross
Replacements: 16 Bradley Slater, 17 Reuben O’Neill, 18 Ross Geldenhuys, 19 Adam Thomson, 20 Dylan Nel, 21 Lisati Milo-Harris, 22 Kaleb Trask, 23 Solomon Alaimalo
15 Beauden Barrett, 14 Mark Telea, 13 Rieko Ioane, 12 Thomas Faiane (captain), 11 Caleb Clarke, 10 Otere Black, 9 Sam Nock; 8 Hoskins Sotutu, 7 Dalton Papalii, 6 Akira Ioane, 5 Josh Goodhue, 4 Patrick Tuipulotu (captain), 3 Ofa Tuungafasi, 2 James Parsons, 1 Alex Hodgman
Replacements: 16 Kurt Eklund, 17 Marcel Renata, 18 Sione Mafileo, 19 Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, 20 Tony Lamborn, 21 Finlay Christie, 22 Harry Plummer, 23 Matt Duffie