As it happened: Super Rugby - Blues vs Melbourne Rebels

FULLTIME: BLUES 10 - 20 REBELS: So, that's now the Blues' 10th loss of the season and means they haven't won a game at Eden Park in over a year. The Rebels though go top of the Australian conference with victory tonight. Thanks for joining us.

80mins: Rebels have the scrum inside the Blues 22m and win the free-kick for Mafi to take the quick tap! They want more! They're just five metres out but Cowley-Tuioti wins it back before winning the penalty. A poor pass moments later goes dead and that's fulltime!

78mins: ebels win the lineout and now look to drive! Ruru spots Koroibete in a bit of space, fires the ball and the winger looks to be in for the try but his right foot JUST made contact with the sideline before he grounded it. 

76mins: Rebels keeping it tight, they're just five metres out. Blues concede the penalty and the Rebels want the lineout.

74mins: Collins tries a nice chip kick for himself but there's plenty of Rebels players around to tap it back their way before clearing down field.

72mins: Rebels looking to close the game out but they're penalised for not releasing at the breakdown and the Blues have the lineout on halfway.

70mins: Manu's in acres of space down the left wing! He draws one in before finding Perofeta but he's JUST ankle-tapped before his offload to Leger is knocked on.

68mins: Gatland puts the chip kick over the top for Collins but the bounce goes the Rebels' way and now they look to counter before winning the penalty.

66mins: Rebels keeping it tight in attack, taking it up through their forwards. Ruru tries to find Koroibete with a cutout pass but it hits the deck before going into touch.

64mins: Blues try the set move from the scrum but the Rebels are well up to it and force the turnover before winning the penalty.

62mins: Koroibete tries the rush defence but Perofeta skins him on the outside he's away! He tries to draw in two players before passing to Collins but the ball hits the deck before the Rebels get the penalty.

60mins: Kaino takes in the lineout and the Phillip is penalised. Blues have the lineout right on halfway.

58mins: Rebels again putting the pressure on, putitng it through the phases before Martin is penalised for not rolling away. Hodge will line up a shot at goal from about 50 metres out and he smashes it!

56mins: Kaino wins the lineout and the Rebels just absolutely demolish the attempted drive and force the turnover.

54mins: Ioane now in a bit of space after a great turnover and the Blues with a chance now. They're up near the 22m. Mafi's offside and penalised. Blues will have the lineout just five out.

52mins: Rebels making steady progress, putting it through the phases but concede the penalty after Rangi took out a player without the ball.

50mins: Rebels again put the pressure on at the scrum and they win the penalty. Blues guilty of illegally wheeling. 

49mins: It's a messy scrum for the Blues but they somehow come up with it. Rebels fronting on defence and the Blues look lost. They go wide and Duffie puts Hepetema in a bit of space before getting it back but he knocks on just a metre out.

47mins: Blues win the lineout and now try the drive! They're marching their way towards the try line and they're over! TMO will have a look to see if there's grounding. It's Moulds with it but it's no try as there's just too many bodies in the way. Scrum time.

45mins: Maddocks takes in the restart and Mafi holds onto the ball too long and Tuungafasi wins the penalty for the Blues.

43mins: REBELS TRY - MEAKES: What a try! Haylett-Petty puts the hard grubber through for Koroibete, gets a perfect bounce and all he has to do is draw in Collins to send Meakes in for the try. Too easy.

41mins: We're back underway and it's the Rebels showing their intent, running it out from their own 22m. Ruru finally clears but only up to the 10m.

HALFTIME: BLUES 10 - 12 REBELS: The Blues somehow almost went into the break with the lead, but Haylett-Petty's try right on halftime means they head into the sheds down on the scoreboard and on form. They've been really poor, but they only find themselves two points down. Plenty to play for.

40mins: REBELS TRY - HAYLETT-PETTY: Rebels put it through the hands, offloading in the tackle and Fainga'a puts Haylett-Petty clear down the right wing before he beats a poor tackle from Cowley-Tuioti to score the try.

38mins: Mafi breaks away from the Rebels rolling maul. The number eight has another charge and offloads off the deck to Maddocks and they're up near the 22m.

36mins: BLUES TRY - HEPETEMA: Ioane charges Ruru's kick, Maddocks cleans up but Cowley-Tuioti walks right over the top of the tackle to win it back. There's space out wide, Hepetema gets it, puts the foot down and races away 20 metes to score.

34mins: Coleman gets up to steal the Blues lineout and Ruru clears in the form of a box kick. Perofeta tries the midfield bomb but Maddocks catches it easily.

32mins: Rebels putting it through the phases but they're struggling to make metres. Ruru opts for the box kick and Collins takes it well under pressure.

30mins: Haylett-Petty puts English in space, he finds Koroibete, who somehow flings it between the legs to his support player and the Rebels are up inside the 22m. Fainga'a looks to be in for the try but there was a knock on in the lead up.

28mins: Perofeta finds Duffie on the outside with a cutout pass and the winger sees space, puts boot to ball but it goes out on the full. Maddocks is put into space down the right wing but his inside pass to Haylett-Petty is knocked on.

26mins: Rebels have the scrum just five metres out by they concede the free-kick and Perofeta takes the quick tap before clearing down field.

24mins: Mafi makes yet another strong run, he's not held, gets up to roll just inches out from the try line. Ruru tries a sneaky dart but Pulu looks to have held him up. We're going upstairs. And it's indeed that.

23mins: Hodgman's penalised at the scrum for not keeping his bind up and Hodge finds touch just inside the 22m. Penalities mounting now for the Blues.

22mins: Perofeta steps through a couple and he's away! Blues inside the 22m and now it's Duffie with a good run. They're just five metres out but Perofeta knocks on.

20mins: Papali'i's had to go off with an injury and Havili replaces him. Both teams looking to play, but it's extremely sloppy and the Blues will have the lineout around halfway.

18mins: Puru slips out of one before slipping the pass to Duffie and he's in space, offloads to Ioane and they're up inside the 22m. Perofeta kicks cross field to Manu, he takes it but he's short and they turn it over.

16mins: Haylett-Petty spots a gap and almost goes clean through. Papali'i looses his footing after the tackle and is penalised.

14mins: REBELS TRY - MEAKES: Rebels win the lineout and a couple of strong runs has them on them right on the try line. Mafi goes close, Ruru sees Meakes, steps one before sending the second-five over for the try.

12mins: Koroibete pumps the legs and the Rebels drive him up to halfway. Perofeta is penalised for not releasing.

11mins: Pulu makes a nice dart around the ruck and the Blues are inside the Rebels 22m. Akira goes straight off his feet at the breakdown however and is penalised.

9mins: Blues win the penalty at the scrum on halfway after Hodge's restart went into touch on the full.

7mins: Hodge tries running it out from inside his own 22m but can only do so into the back of his players and is penalised. Perofeta lines up the shot at goal and it's good.

5mins: Martin gets up to win the lineout and the Blues drive! They're just a metre out but the Rebels sack the maul and force the turnover.

3mins: Pulu cuts out one to find Duffie in space and he takes it up near the 22m. Rebels scrambling in defence and are penalised for offisde. Blues turn down the easy three for a lineout just five out.

1mins: Rebels try to rumble it up but Blues do well to hold Coleman up and force the turnover for a scrum on halfway.

5:14pm: Players about to make their way out. Coleman leads out the visitors. Moments away from kick-off.

5:12pm: Blues have extremely young and inexperienced team for tonight's game. Meanwhile the Rebels have a chance to top the Aussie conference with a win.

5:10pm: Here we have it. Perhaps the Blues' best chance to FINALLY win a game at home. It won't be easy though, there's no SBW or Rieko.

Kia ora and welcome to Eden Park as the Blues take the Melbourne Rebels in week 16 of Super Rugby.  

We bring you live streaming written commentary, (BE SURE TO REFRESH YOUR BROWSER), and all the action. Video will be available as soon as the final whistle goes.

Commentary will start around 5:10pm (NZT)

Lineups

Blues

15 Michael Collins, 14 Matt Duffie, 13 Orbyn Leger, 12 Terrence Hepetema, 11 Tumua Manu, 10 Stephen Perofeta, 9 Augustine Pulu (c), 8 Akira Ioane, 7 Dalton Papalii, 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Matiaha Martin, 4 Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, 3 Ofa Tuungafasi, 2 Matt Moulds, 1 Alex Hodgman.

Replacements: 16 Leni Apisai, 17 Pauliasi Manu, 18 Sione Mafileo, 19 Ben Nee-Nee, 20 Sione Havili, 21 Jonathan Ruru, 22 Bryn Gatland, 23 TJ Faiane

Rebels

15 Dane Haylett-Petty, 14 Jack Maddocks, 13 Tom English, 12 Billy Meakes, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Reece Hodge, 9 Michael Ruru, 8 Amanaki Mafi, 7 Colby Fainga’a, 6 Angus Cottrell, 5 Adam Coleman (c), 4 Matt Philip, 3 Jermaine Ainsley, 2 Anaru Rangi, 1 Fereti Sa’aga

Replacements: 16 Jordan Uelese, 17 Ben Daley, 18 Sam Talakai, 19 Geoff Parling, 20 Ross Haylett-Petty, 21 Harrison Goddard, 22 Tayler Adams, 23 Lopeti Timani

Match officials
Referee: Nick Briant
Assistant Referees: Brendon Pickerill, Angus Mabey
TMO: Ben Skeen

Previous meetings
Thu, 23 Feb 2017 Blues v Rebels 56-18 Melbourne
Sat, 30 Apr 2016 Blues v Rebels 36-30 Auckland
Fri, 08 May 2015 Blues v Rebels 22-42 Melbourne
Sat, 11 May 2013 Blues v Rebels 36-32 Auckland
Thu, 05 Apr 2012 Blues v Rebels 23-34 Melbourne

Head-to-head
Blues $1.39 Rebels $2.95

Pre-match banter: Blues forward Dalton Papali’I savouring top flight experience

It's been a trying season for the Auckland-based Blues as they limp towards yet another underwhelming finish.

However, there has been one positive to come out of another forgettable season so far, and that's the emergence of flanker Dalton Papali'i.

Starting the season, Papali'i thought he'd simply be making up the numbers. Instead, he's training and playing alongside his boyhood heroes.

"It's pretty unreal... watching guys like Sonny Bill [Williams], Jerome Kaino… it's a pretty special feeling," he told Newshub.

The 20-year-old's now played an unexpected five games in his rookie season for the Blues.

Even though injuries to others have elevated his standing in the squad, Tana Umaga says he looks right at home.

"Right from day one here in November. The way he trained, his whole attitude, he really stood out," said the Blues coach.

It's not just the Blues where the loose forward has stood out.

He captained St Kentigern's College to Auckland's 1A title in 2015, and represented the New Zealand U-20s for two years.

For those that knew him, his rapid rise has come as no surprise

"He's come in and not tried to be anyone but himself. I think that's always the tough thing when you're going up a grade," said Blues winger and fellow St. Kentigern's old boy Matt Duffie.

"I think he's shown he can be consistent about it too and he's tough."

The Blues will be going for just their fourth win of the season against the Rebels tomorrow, the youngster requiring a thick skin through some lean times.

"Experience is experience and if they can deal in the tough times then the good times are just around the corner," said Umaga.

And Papali'i's hoping those good times eventually include an All Blacks call-up.

"He is a young guy he's super physical and he's only going to get bigger and stronger. He's got a very promising future."

Newshub.

 

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