The Blues have won their last six Super Rugby matches against the NSW Waratahs, the longest winning streak by either team in the history of this fixture.
The Blues have won their last three Super Rugby away matches in succession against the NSW Waratahs, as many as they won in all their 10 such fixtures prior in the competition (W3, L7).
- The Waratahs have won two of their last three Super Rugby matches against New Zealand teams (L1), including a 32-20 win in their most recent such fixture (22 May 2022 v Highlanders); they will be aiming for consecutive wins against such opposition for the first time since May 2015.
- The Blues have won 19 of their last 20 Super Rugby matches (L1), including their last 12 on the bounce.
- A 13th consecutive victory for Leon MacDonald’s side would be their longest winning run in Super Rugby history.
- Each of the Tahs’ last five Super Rugby home matches has been decided by a margin no greater than five points; the Waratahs have logged three wins (L2).
- NSW have won 82 turnovers, the most by any team in the campaign and 24 more than the Blues (58).
- The NSW Waratahs have conceded 157 penalties, the joint-most by any team in the campaign (also Queensland Reds – 157) and 27 more than the Blues (130).
Players to watch
- Charlie Gamble has won 13 turnovers in the 2022 Super Rugby Pacific season, the most of any player and four more than the Blues’ best Kurt Eklund (9).
- Carlo Tizzano (24) and Ricky Riccitelli (20) have made more successful tackles per 80 minutes than any other players in the 2022 Super Rugby Pacific campaign.
We are waiting for the kick-off.
1.00: PEEEP! We are underway at a near-full Leichhardt Oval, Sydney.
3.00: Jock McKenzie’s knock on stalls a promising venture into the Tahs’ 22.
6.00: An attacking Blues lineout ends with turnover and penalty to NSW. Ben Donaldson boots the hosts to the 22.
7.00: Jake Gordon is isolated near the try line, and the visitors can clear.
9.00: Jed Holloway steals a Blues’ lineout, but Dylan Pietsch loses the ball in to touch.
12.00: Anton Segner is helped off the field, and Akira Ioane comes on.
13.00: Michael Hooper is miles offside. Jock McKenzie, playing flyhalf, will take a shot at the goal.
14.00: MISS! McKenzie misses from in front. 0-0
16.00: A sustained Blues attack ends with a turnover and clearance by the home team.
17.00: Michael Hooper survives a TMO review for foul play, that is good officiating by Paul Williams and James Leckie.
19.00: Zarn Sullivan’s kick goes out on the full. NSW will have a decent attacking opportunity inside the opposition’s half.
20.00: A knock on kills another decent Waratahs’ attack.
22.00: A lot of errors in this scoreless game, this time the Blues don’t find touch with a penalty allowing the Tahs to counter.
24.00: New South Wales win a penalty after the Blues did not roll away from a ruck. Ben Donaldson kicks 10m out from the try line.
26.00: Gordon loses the pill, but several advantages see the home team kick to the corner this time.
27.00: Three penalties in a row; two from the breakdown, one for offside, which means a card will be shown for the next infringement.
28.00: YELLOW CARD! Two more infringements see Adrian Choat get carded for a high tackle. 0-0
29.00: YELLOW CARD! A high tackle from Akira Ioane takes the Blues to 13 men. A fractured rolling maul ends with the Blues making another error leading to a penalty. Scrum time, this time. 0-0
30.00: Hell no! The Blues win a scrum penalty after Archer Holz is popped by Jordan Lay.
32.00: A turnover by Gamble kick-starts a counter-attack inside the tourist’s half. The Waratahs go through the phases before Holtz drops a simple pass to kill the attack.
35.00: New South Wales is going to rue not taking any points with the five penalties and two cards. Another knock on gives away possession in midfield. MacDonald’s men are just running down the clock.
37.00: scrum penalty to the Blues, who will take a shot.
38.00: PENALTY! Jock McKenzie opens the scoring from distance. 0-3
39.00: The Blues survived two yellows and took a slender lead in this tight contest.
40.00: Blues win an important turnover at the end of the half to clear the danger. this is maddening for Waratahs fans, players, and coaches.
The halftime score was NSW Waratahs 0 Blues 3
41.00: PEEEP! We are back underway down under.
43.00: Waratahs botch another attacking lineout – wow!
47.00: It’s time for the Blues to put some pressure on their hosts. They go through the phases before Hanigan redeems himself for his previous mistake, winning a turnover penalty.
49.00: This is the sixth entry into the opposition’s 22, and the Tahs have zero to show for five-and-a-half minutes of pressure.
50.00: TRY! Marky Mark strolls in for the Tahs’ opening score. Finally, the maul goes nowhere, but the Waratahs go wide to Dylan Pietsch. the winger sucked in Zarn Sullivan before throwing a long pass to Mark Nawaqanitawase for a walkover score. 5-3
52.00: CONVERSION! Edmed adds the touchline conversion. 7-3
55.00: The momentum has shifted since Nawaqanitawase’s try.
57.00: TRY! Nawaqanitawase finishes expertly in the corner under pressure from Sullivan. 12-3
59.00: CONVERSION! The kick is good. 14-3
61.00: A Blues’ attack is foiled, and the Tahs clear the danger to halfway.
64.00: The Blues have a good chance at points with an attacking lineout five metres out.
66.00: A long stoppage for blood gives the players a rest.
66.00: TRY! Cameron Suafoa crashes over for his maiden Super Rugby try after the driving maul fell short of the try line. 14-8
67.00: CONVERSION! Sullivan adds the extras. 14-10
70.00: Lots of changes as the game goes into the final period. The Blues set up a driving maul and creep up the park before winning a penalty.
74.00: It’s all the Blues at the minute as they search for a late winner in Sydney.
75.00: TRY! A monumental 16-phase attack ends with Romano rumbling his way over two defenders to give his side a late lead. 14-15
76.00: CONVERSION! The kick is good. 14-17
78.00: Blues ahve a scrum inside their half, they will try run down the clock. However, the Aussies win a scrum penalty. Edmed calls for the tee.
80.00: PENALTY! Edmed levels. 17-17
82.00: DROP GOAL! Sullivan wins the game with a last-gasp drop-kick after a 14-phase attack ends the game. History is made by the Blues as they win a 13th successive SR match. 17-20
The final score is Waratahs 17 (0) Blues 20 (3)
Tries – Nawaqanitawase (2)
Pen – Edmed
Con – Edmed (2)
Tries – Suafoa, Romano
Pen – McKenzie
Con – Sullivan (2)
Drop – Sullivan
Cards – Choat (Yellow, 28′), A. Ioane (Yellow, 29′)
Referee: Paul Williams
Assistant Ref 1: Angus Gardner
Assistant Ref 2: Matt Kellahan
TMO: James Leckie
Waratahs: 15 Ben Donaldson, 14 Mark Nawaqanitawase, 13 Alex Newsome, 12 Lalakai Foketi, 11 Dylan Pietsch, 10 Tane Edmed, 9 Jake Gordon (captain), 8 Will Harris, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Charlie Gamble, 5 Ned Hanigan, 4 Jed Holloway, 3 Archer Holz, 2 Dave Porecki, 1 Angus Bell.
Replacements: 16 Mahe Vailanu, 17 Ruan Smith, 18 Paddy Ryan, 19 Hugh Sinclair, 20 Jeremy Williams, 21 Rahboni Warren-Vosayaco, 22 Jack Grant, 23 Jamie Roberts.
Blues: 15 Zarn Sullivan, 14 Jacob Ratumaitavuki-Kneepkens, 13 Tamati Tua, 12 Corey Evans, 11 AJ Lam, 10 Jock McKenzie, 9 Sam Nock, 8 Taine Plumtree, 7 Adrian Choat, 6 Anton Segner, 5 Josh Goodhue, 4 Luke Romano (captain), 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Ricky Riccitelli, 1 Jordan Lay.
Replacements: 16 Soane Vikena, 17 Karl Tu’inukuafe, 18 Marcel Renata, 19 Sam Darry, 20 Cameron Suafoa, 21 Akira Ioane, 22 Taufa Funaki, 23 Nigel Ah Wong.