The Crusaders host the Blues in the second Super rugby match on Saturday and they will be looking for an 8th straight win over the Blues.
The Crusaders can afford to take it a little easy this weekend as they are 8 points ahead of their closest rivals so they will host they final if they reach it no matter what happens this weekend.
- The Crusaders have won their last seven games on the bounce against the Blues, a streak more than twice as long as any other by either team in the history of this fixture.
- The Blues haven’t won an away game against the Crusaders since 2004, losing 10 such fixtures in succession since that game.
- The Crusaders have won their last 16 home games in succession, trailing at half-time only twice in that time.
- The Crusaders have scored 20+ points in the opening half of three of their last four New Zealand derbies, going on to win each of those four games.
- The Blues have won only one of their last 29 games against fellow NewZealand opposition (D1, L27), and are winless in their last 18 such fixtures (D1, L17).
We are waiting for the kick off.
The Crusaders kick off and the match is underway.
1.40: The Crusaders waste no time in going on the attack. The Crusaders go wide and run hard at the Blues who slip off tackles allowing the home side to get to the 5m line. A knock on ends the attack.
3.00: The Crusaders attack on the far side but get stopped. The Crusaders change sides and the ball gets to Ryan Crotty who offloads to Jack Goodhue who dodges one tackler and scores. TRY!
4.00: The conversion is missed by Richie Mo’unga.
9.00: The Blues set up a line out almost on the Crusaders 5m line. They win the line out and use the maul. The Crusaders press them back and then get to the ball. Kieran Read steals the ball and the Crusaders run it out of their 22 but get taken into touch.
14.00: The Crusaders set up and win a line out and work the ball into the Blues 22. The Blues defend well and slow the attack.
16.00: The Crusaders go through 7 slow phases, but the Blues press them back out of their 22 and win a penalty for not releasing.
17.00: The Blues take the line out option. The Blues win the line out and run the ball into the Crusaders 22. The Blues keep the ball moving and they centre the ball and they keep the ball moving through 18 phases on attack.
20.00: Phase after phase on attack – after 21 phases the Crusaders turn the ball over and run it into the Blues half and then kick. The Blues get back to secure the ball but knock on.
22.00: The Crusaders attack in the Blues 22. They pass the ball out to the wing and George Bridge scores in the corner. TRY.
23.00: Mo’unga slots the conversion.
26.00: The Blues try to hit back but the Crusaders kill of their attacks.
29.00: There is a break in play as two Blues players have run into each other so the medics come out. The game resumes with a scrum.
30.00: The Crusaders attack down the wing but Melani Nanai intercepts a pass from Israel Dagg and races away to score. TRY!
32.00: Bryn Gatland takes the conversion kick but misses.
35.00: The Blues win a penalty and take the line out option so they kick for touch setting up a line out about 8m out.
37.00: The Blues win the line out but when they go wide the ball is knocked down and lost. The Crusaders play on and win a penalty for offside. The Crusaders kick for touch.
39.00: The Crusaders go through 14 phases and they get into the Blues 22. Drummond gets the Crusaders to the 5m line, loses the ball but regains it and pops it up to Seta Tamanivalu who scores ! TRY!
40.30: Mo’unga adds the conversion to end the half.
The half time score was Crusaders 19 Blues 5
40.01: Bryn Gatland kicks off and the second half is underway.
Pete Samu has come on for Kieran Read for the second half.
43.00: The Crusaders grind down the Blues defences. Mo’unga moves the ball across the face of the posts – the Blues expect the ball to go wide to the wings – but Jack Goodhue slices back in and scores under the posts. TRY!
44.00: Mo’unga converts the try.
51.00: The Blues scrum dominates the Crusaders scrum on the 5m line. They drive over the tryline and are awarded a penalty TRY!
54.00: The Blues continue to attack the Crusaders and Nanai races to the corner after an offload from Gatland. The TMO reviews the try. It’s a TRY!
55.00: The conversion from Gatland is wide.
61.00: Penalty to the Crusaders in their half for offside. The Crusaders kick for touch.
63.00: The Crusaders win the line out go to the backs. Tamanivalu slices through the Blues, offloads to Dagg who sets up Bridgewho scores his second TRY!
64.00: Mo’unga adds the conversion.
71.00: The Blues get behind the Crusaders and slip a pass out to Nanai who looks open. He cuts back in but is caught by the scrambling Crusaders who push the Blues into touch.
The Blues slip off a tackle which allows the Crusaders to get behind them. The ball is passed out wide to George Bridge on the wing and he dives over for his hat-trick TRY!
74.00: MItch Hunt takes the conversion from out wide. He nails it.
76.00: The Crusaders again get behind the Blues and this time Sam Whitelock crashes over. TRY!
77.00: Hunt adds the conversion.
The Crusaders attack again, Bridge goes for the tryline but is stopped by Perofeta. The Crusaders keep the ball moving and Bryn Hall goes over. TRY!
80.00: Hunt adds the conversion which ends the match.
The full time score is Crusaders 54 (19) Blues 17 (5)
Tries – J.Goodhue 2, G.Bridge 3, S.Tamanivalu, S.Whitelock, B.Hall
Con – R.Mo’unga 4, M.Hunt 3
Tries – M.Nanai 2, Penalty Try
Con -Penalty try conversion
Referee: Federico Anselmi
Assistant Ref 1:Jamie Nutbrown
Assistant Ref 2:Mike Fraser
TMO : Shane McDermott
15 Israel Dagg, 14 Seta Tamanivalu, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 George Bridge, 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 Mitchell Drummond, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Matt Todd, 6 Jordan Taufua, 5 Sam Whitelock (captain), 4 Quinten Strange, 3 Michael Alaalatoa, 2 Andrew Makalio, 1 Tim Perry
Replacements : 16 Sam Anderson-Heather, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Donald Brighouse, 19 Luke Romano, 20 Pete Samu, 21 Bryn Hall, 22 Mitchell Hunt, 23 Manasa Mataele
15. Matt Duffie, 14. Melani Nanai, 13. Michael Collins, 12. Rieko Ioane, 11. Caleb Clarke, 10. Stephen Perofeta, 9. Augustine Pulu ©; 8. Akira Ioane, 7. Blake Gibson, 6. Jerome Kaino, 5. Ben Nee-Nee, 4. Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, 3. Ofa Tuungafasi, 2. Matt Moulds, 1. Alex Hodgman
Replacements: 16. Ross Wright, 17. Pauliasi Manu, 18. Sione Mafileo, 19. Jacob Pierce, 20. Murphy Taramai, 21. Sam Nock, 22. Bryn Gatland, 23. Tamati Tua.