Super Rugby

Blues beat Crusaders in Christchurch

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Welcome to this top-of-the-table Super Rugby Pacific clash between Crusaders and Blues at Orangetheory Stadium, Christchurch, New Zealand.

The Crusaders have won 14 consecutive Super Rugby games against the Blues, a 15th straight win would make it the longest winning streak of one team against another in Super Rugby history, eclipsing the Brumbies’ active 14-game winning streak against the Western Force, which began in 2014.

  • The Crusaders have not lost at home to the Blues in Super Rugby since Round 2, 2004, picking up 14 consecutive home wins against them since.
  • The Blues last beat the Crusaders in 2014.
  • Scott Robertson’s side has won 13 of their last 14 Super Rugby games, including their last three on the bounce; however, their last two wins have been by margins of no greater than three points.
  • The Crusaders have lost at home to New Zealand opponents on three occasions in Super Rugby since the beginning of 2020 after not doing so even once between the 2017 and 2019 campaigns.
  • The Blues have won 13 of their last 14 Super Rugby games, including their last six on the bounce and a 26-0 win over the Chiefs in their last game; it was just the second time they have ever kept a team scoreless in a Super Rugby game (Brumbies 17-0 in Round 6, 2005).
  • The Crusaders have scored six tries via substitute players this campaign, more than any other team in the competition, and two more than the Blues (4) – three of the Saders’ six substitute tries came against Moana Pasifika in Round 3 (Codie Taylor 2, Abraham Pole 1).
  • The Crusaders (92) and Blues (81) have gained more metres per game from kick returns than any other teams in 2022.
  • The Blues have made five line breaks per game this Super Rugby Pacific season, the second-most of any team (Hurricanes – 6), and one per game more than the Crusaders (4).

Players to watch

  • Will Jordan has scored seven tries and made four assists in his last nine Super Rugby games, he also has a brace of tries in his last game against the Blues.
  • AJ Lam has scored one try in his last two Super Rugby games and has scored three tries across his five career starts in Super Rugby competitions.

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 in round nine of Super Rugby Pacific in Christchurch, New Zealand.

3.00: Both teams have had a couple of early chances, but nothing came from the attacks inside the 22s.

6.00: Blues have started well, they’ll need to take their opportunities if they are to break this long-standing hoodoo versus Crusaders.

8.00: Scott Barrett is pinged at the ruck for going off his feet, it seemed harsh. Dalton Papali’i points to the poles.

9.00: PENALTY! Stephen Perofeta opens the scoring from in front. 0-3

11.00: Tom Christie is penalised at the ruck, the Crusaders have given away four penalties to one.

13.00: Scott Barrett steals the Blues’ lineout to kick-start a counter-attack, which ends with a lineout to the hosts after a charge-down. Beauden Barrett clears after another Saders’ foray into the visitor’s 22.

15.00: Oh dear! A mix-up between Beauden Barrett and Stephen Perofeta ends with the fullback carrying the ball back into the Blues’ in-goal for a five-metre, which led to Barrett kicking the ball out behind the dead-ball line for a scrum to the home team.

16.00: Beauden Barrett latches onto Mo’unga’s crossfield kick; however, the Crusaders had the penalty advantage. Scott Barrett asks for another scrum.

17.00: TRY! The magic man Will Jordan takes David Havili’s flat pass and slips Mark Telea’s tackle to claim his 29th Super Rugby try. Sevu Reece, at first receiver from the scrum, began the first-phase score. 5-3

18.00: CONVERSION! Mo’unga adds the extras. 7-3

22.00: TRY! Beauden Barrett breaks into the Crusaders’ 22 before being brought down before the try line by Will Jordan and Sevu Reece. Finlay Christie, at the back of the ruck, looked up and saw no defender on the pillar, and dotted down next to the poles. 7-8

23.00: CONVERSION! Perofeta can’t miss. 7-10

25.00: All Blues at the minute, Barrett is on fire!

26.00: Another break by Barrett leads to the Blues winning another kickable penalty outside the home team’s 22 after infringements by Scott Barrett and Oli Jager.

29.00: MISS! Perofeta, being roundly booed, pushes his kick past the righthand post. 7-10

31.00: TRY! Finlay Christie goes blind to Beauden Barrett, who sucked in Zach Gallagher and Oli Jager, before playing Dalton Papali’i on the sideline. Papali’i cut inside the touchline and slipped Bryn Hall and Richie Mo’unga’s double-tackle before speeding away to score untouched in the corner. 7-15

33.00: CONVERSION! The kick is good. 7-17

35.00: Joe Moody leaves the field with an injury, and George Bower takes over: All Black for All Black.

38.00: AJ Lam and Dalton Papali’i contrive to hold up the Crusaders’ maul for a scrum before the interval.

39.00: YELLOW CARD! David Havili is off for an illegal strip of the ball while on the ground from the hands of Perofeta, who had taken the quick-tap penalty and sped into the Saders’ half. 7-17

41.00: MISS! Can you believe it, Perofeta misses from almost in front. That will come back to haunt the fullback, who has missed two easy shots at goal. 7-17

The halftime score was Crusaders 7 Blues 17

41.00: PEEEP! We are back underway in the Garden City.

43.00: A 14-phase attack ends with a kickable penalty for the hosts. Scott Barrett opts for a shot at goal.

44.00: PENALTY! Mo’unga makes no mistake. 10-17

46.00: RED CARD! A forward pass ends a thrilling attack started by Mo’unga’s linebreak. Alex Hodgman is down after a high shot to the jaw by Scott Barrett, who is sent off for foul play. 10-17

47.00: TRY! Barrett kicked to the corner, and his forwards did the rest from a powerful maul. Kurt Eklund – who else? – drove his way over for his sixth Super Rugby try of the season. 10-22

48.00: CONVERSION! Barrett adds the extras. 10-24

51.00: Barrett almost scores after a chip and chase from insside the opposition’s half; however, the ball bounces out his hands for a scrum to the home team.

55.00: TRY! Mo’unga’s 50/22 set up an attack inside the Blues’ 22. From the driving maul, the defending champions went six phases to Pablo Matera Matera sucked in two defenders, floated a double-skipp pass to Reece, who beat the cover-defence for the winger’s 38th Super Rugby try. 15-24

56.00: MISS! Mo’unga can’t convert. 15-24

60.00: Rieko Ioane is caught offside, and Mo’unga calls for the tee.

61.00: PENALTY! The kick is good. 18-24

65.00: PENALTY! Barrett restores the two-score advantage. 18-27

70.00: TRY! Will Jordan sliced open the Blues from his own half and raced to the 22. The ball is recycled left to right before Mitch Drummond sent a long, skip-pass to Reece to race away for another score. 23-27

72.00: MISS! The kick is not good. 23-27

74.00: It’s all Saders at the moment as the Blues hang on by a thread.

76.00: It’s all Crusaders at the death.

78.00: Rieko Ioane makes a try-saving tackle in the corner on Dominic Gardiner, who looked certain to score, after another multi-phase attack by the Saders. Lineout to the Blues on their 5m.

80.00: The Crusaders attack inside the 22 after the Blues stop the maul… the hooter sounds.

81.00: The nine-phase attack ends with a knock-on near the Blues’ line, Barrett boots to touch to end a thrilling encounter, and a first Blues’ win in Canterbury for 18 years.

FULL TIME

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The final score is Crusaders 23 (7) Blues 27 (17)

Scorers

Crusaders
Tries – Jordan, Reece (2)
Pen – Mo’unga (2)
Con – Mo’unga
Drop –
Cards – Havili (Yellow, 39′), S. Barrett (Red, 46′)

Blues
Tries – F. Christie, Papali’i, Eklund
Pen – Perofeta, B. Barrett
Con – Perofeta (2), B. Barrett
Drop –
Cards –

Match Officials
Referee: Mike Fraser
Assistant Ref 1: James Doleman
Assistant Ref 2: Mike Winter
TMO: Aaron Paterson

Teams

Crusaders: 15 Will Jordan, 14 Sevu Reece, 13 Braydon Ennor, 12 David Havili, 11 Leicester Fainga’anuku, 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Cullen Grace, 7 Tom Christie, 6 Ethan Blackadder, 5 Zach Gallagher, 4 Scott Barrett (captain), 3 Oli Jager, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Joe Moody.

Replacements: 16 Ricky Jackson, 17 George Bower, 18 Fletcher Newell, 19 Dominic Gardiner, 20 Pablo Matera, 21 Mitchell Drummond, 22 Fergus Burke, 23 George Bridge.

Blues: 15 Stephen Perofeta, 14 Mark Telea, 13 Rieko Ioane, 12 Bryce Heem, 11 AJ Lam, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Finlay Christie, 8 Hoskins Sotutu, 7 Dalton Papali’i (captain), 6 Tom Robinson, 5 Josh Goodhue, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Ofa Tu’ungafasi, 2 Kurt Eklund, 1 Alex Hodgman.

Replacements:
16 Ricky Riccitelli, 17 Jordan Lay, 18 Nepo Laulala, 19 James Tucker, 20 Adrian Choat, 21 Taufa Funaki, 22 Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, 23 Zarn Sullivan

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