Super Rugby

Blues beat Hurricanes in Wellington




The Hurricanes and the Blues open the 2021 Super Rugby Aotearoa at Sky Stadium, Wellington. The Crusaders beat the Highlanders 13-26 in Friday’s Round One fixture at Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin.

Saturday’s fixture is billed as the ‘Battle of the Brothers’, with Ardie and Julian Savea starting for the Hurricanes, while Rieko and Akira Ioane run on for the Blues. Ardie will captain the Canes in his 100th appearance for the club.

  • Both teams registered a victory in this fixture last season, with the home team winning each.
  • The Hurricanes have won only one of their last three Super Rugby matches against the Blues (L2), after enjoying a nine-game winning run against them prior.
  • Leon MacDonald’s men have won nine of their last 11 completed Super Rugby matches (L2); the Hurricanes one of the two sides to hand them a defeat in that stretch (also Crusaders).
  • The Hurricanes have opened a Super Rugby campaign with a victory just once in the last four seasons (L3); however, that lone triumph, a 20-19 win over the NSW Waratahs to begin 2019.
  • Jason Holland’s charges scored eight tries starting possession from a scrum in Super Rugby Aotearoa in 2020, double the amount of any other side via this method.
  • Caleb Clarke has scored a try in each of his last two Super Rugby matches against the Hurricanes; moreover, making 18 carries, five clean breaks, and beating nine defenders across that stretch.

Match detail

We are waiting for the kick-off.

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

1.00: PEEEEP! We are underway in the second Round One Super Rugby Aotearoa match at Sky Stadium, Wellington. Ardie Savea walked out with brother Julian and his two children to celebrate his 100th Hurricanes Super Rugby cap.

4.00: TRY! What a start for the Blues! Vaea Fifita knocks on a simple pass near his try line, and Dalton Papalii pounces, gathering the loose ball to score. 0-5

5.00: CONVERSION! Otere Black converts. 0-7

6.00: TRY! The Hurricanes hit back immediately through Asafo Aumua, who runs through two defenders, is not held in the tackle before getting up and reaching for the chalk. The interchanging passing by Ngani Laumape, Jackson Garden-Bachop, and Vaea Fifita, helped set-up the hooker. 5-7

7.00: MISS! Jordie Barrett cannot convert from near the sideline. 5-7

9.00: The first scrum of the match goes to the Blues, although, the visitors are blown-up for an illegal decoy runner with Rieko Ioane blocking Black’s wrap-around.

11.00: Ngani Laumape’s grubber goes out over the back of the in-goal area. The Canes look good with the ball in hand, especially hooker Aumua, who had another rampaging run down the right-hand sideline.

13.00: Jordie Barrett knocks-on a high-ball before Black’s kick-pass is knocked forward into touch by Gerard Cowley-Tuioti. Scrum to the Blues near halfway.

15.00: The early handling has been poor by both teams. A promising attack by the visitors ends when Cowley-Tuioti loses the ball in contact. The Hurricanes, subsequently, win a scrum-penalty for offside and collapsing by the visitors.

16.00: Barrett bangs the ball to the opposition’s 22.

17.00: Referee Paul Williams blows Julian Savea for being held-up; however, the winger’s knee was down in the tackle — that’s poor by the ref.

21.00: Caleb Clarke loses the ball forward after brushing two defenders off like flies. If the Blues can stop making handling errors, they will be hard to stop, especially in the wide areas with Clarke and Mark Talea. Offside by Vaea Fifita gives Black a chance to set-up a lineout deep inside the Hurricanes 22.

23.00: The attack comes to nothing. Ardie Savea – who else – wins the important turnover at the breakdown to save the day. The Canes clear, a kicking battle ensues before Talea knocks-on with no pressure on him. The Blues have made several handling errors to the home team’s two, so far.

25.00: Both teams look rusty, the handling is poor, the kicking is wayward, and the players seem to be getting in each others’ way. Another knock-on by the Canes saves the Blues’ blushes after they butchered an attack inside their 22.

27.00: MASSIVE SCRUM by the visitors, who won a penalty after marching the opposition backward.

29.00: Scott Scrafton concedes a penalty at the lineout; Black kicks to the corner.

30.00: James Blackwell jumps across the lineout to give away the third infringement in three phases. The ref has a word with Ardie Savea about ‘piggy-backing’ penalties. Blues opt for another scrum.

31.00: Another scrum-penalty goes against the hosts; Blues call for another scrum. Hurricanes are under the pump.

32.00: YELLOW CARD! The next attack is broken-up by an interception; however, Blackwell’s second infringement in the last couple of minutes sees the lock sent to the sin bin. 5-7

35.00: The Hurricanes win a fortunate scrum-penalty defending their line, with a forward down. Maybe Black should have taken a shot at goal because all that pressure led to naught.

37.00: It’s the hosts who march down the field and into the Blues half; they win a penalty at a previous ruck for an infringement by scrumhalf Sam Nock. Barrett calls for the tee. The penalty attempt is from halfway and on the angle (53m).

38.00: PENALTY! What a strike from the fullback, his kick sails over the cross-bar with room to spare. Canes lead. 8-7

40.00: Another penalty goes against the visitors after a good kick-chase by the hosts. Barrett will take another shot, from a similar position and angle, just five metres shorter.

41.00: PENALTY! Barrett does it again, this time the ball was still traveling upwards after it had gone through the posts. 11-7

The halftime score is Hurricanes 11 Blues 7

41.00: PEEEEP! We are back underway in Wellington, New Zealand.

43.00: More knock-ons – two – by the Blues allows the Canes a scrum inside their 22. The visitors, despite playing with an extra man for 10 minutes, scored no points while Barrett kicked two penalties.

45.00: Blackwell, not long back on the field, gives away his third penalty of the night. Black is kicking to touch again, Leon MacDonald’s men eschewing the points yet again.

46.00: Kurt Eklund’s throw to the lineout is poor; the Canes clear.

49.00: TRY! Clarke, alone on the sideline, gathers Black’s pin-point cross-field kick to open the scoring in the second half. 11-12

50.00: CONVERSION! Black knocks over the conversion. 11-14

51.00: Tyrell Lomax gives away a penalty at the breakdown, on the halfway line, which allows Black to boot the ball into the 22 and keep the home team under the pump.

53.00: YELLOW CARD! Du’Plessis Kirifi, not long on, did not roll away after a bulldozing driving maul collapsed near the home team’s try line. The Blues opt for a scrum, five metres out from the chalk. 11-14

54.00: TRY! Stephen Perofeta finishes off a slick backline move. Black’s looping switch and pass, after a decoy runner took out the midfield defence, allowed the fullback a walk-over score. The forwards did the work, the backs finished the job. Cool. 11-19

56.00: CONVERSION! Black adds another two points. 11-21

60.00: The hosts are camped on the visitors’ line, they have a penalty advantage, but cannot get through.

61.00: Akira Ioane gives away another penalty, the ref keeps his hands in his pocket, but Barrett sets up an attacking lineout.

62.00: NO TRY! Held-up! Akira Ioane gives away another penalty: How has the ref not carded Ioane? Barrett sets up another lineout. 11-21

63.00: TRY! Aumua crashes over after a well-worked driving maul, and the Canes are back! 16-21

64.00: CONVERTED? NO, The touch-judges ruled the kick did not go through. It looked good. It was good, seeing the replay. Oh, well. 16-21

65.00: The crowd is booing the replay of the Barrett ‘missed’ conversion.

66.00: Blues opting for poles after earning a penalty from the restart.

67.00: MISS! Harry Plummer’s kick is well short of the posts. 16-21

72.00: It’s all Blues at the moment, they turned down a shot at goal from halfway, but have been camped inside the Blues half for a while.

75.00: A couple of penalties (27th of the game) to the Blues in quick succession; Black calls for the tee.

76.00: PENALTY! Black makes it a two-score game. 16-24

78.00: TRY! Rieko Ioane seals the deal after Wes Goosen’s handling mistake gifted the centre a runaway score. 16-29

79.00: CONVERSION! Black slots the touchline kick. 16-31

81.00: Another knock-on will end the match, but not after one more scrum.


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The final score is Hurricanes 16 (11) Blues 31 (7)


Tries – Aumua (2)
Pen – J. Barrett (2)
Con –
Drop –
Cards – Blackwell (Yellow, 32′), Kirifi (Yellow, 53′)

Tries – Papalii, Clarke, Perofeta, R. Ioane
Pen – Black
Con – Black (4)
Drop –
Cards –

Match Officials
Referee: Paul Williams
Assistant Ref 1: Mike Fraser
Assistant Ref 2: James Doleman
TMO: Brendon Pickerill



15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Wes Goosen, 13 Billy Proctor, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Jackson Garden-Bachop, 9 Jonathan Taumateine 8 Devan Flanders, 7 Ardie Savea (captain), 6 Vaea Fifita, 5 Scott Scrafton, 4 James Blackwell, 3 Tyrel Lomax, 2 Asafo Aumua, 1 Fraser Armstrong

Replacements: 16 Ricky Riccitelli, 17 Xavier Numia, 18 Alex Fidow, 19 Reed Prinsep, 20 Du’Plessis Kirifi, 21 Luke Campbell, 22 Peter Umaga-Jensen, 23 Salesi Rayasi


15 Stephen Perofeta, 14 Mark Telea, 13 Rieko Ioane, 12 Harry Plummer, 11 Caleb Clarke, 10 Otere Black, 9 Sam Nock; 8 Hoskins Sotutu, 7 Dalton Papalii, 6 Akira Ioane, 5 Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, 4 Patrick Tuipulotu (captain), 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Kurt Eklund, 1 James Lay

Replacements: 16 Luteru Tolai, 17 Karl Tu’inukuafe, 18 Ofa Tuungafasi, 19 Josh Goodhue, 20 Tom Robinson, 21 Adrian Choat, 22 Jonathan Ruru, 23 Tanielu Tele’a

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