Live updates: Super Rugby - Crusaders vs Blues

  • 14/07/2018

FULLTIME: CRUSADERS 54 - 17 BLUES

80mins: CRUSADERS TRY - HALL: Tamanivalu gets ride of Rieko before sending Nanai on his way. Crusaders keen to play. Tamanivalu's in space, puts Hall through on the inside and he sends Bridge on his way for what looks like a certain try under the sticks but Perofeta tracks him down to make the tackle. He offloads off the deck to Todd, he can't hang on, but Hall is there to catch the ball and go over for the try.

78mins: CRUSADERS TRY - WHITELOCK: Duffie looks to run it but is forced sideways, tries the offload but it's straight to Samu and he's in space down the left! Crusaders come back in field and fire it to a charging Whitelock, he steps out of one tackle and dives over for another try.

76mins: Blues looking to hit back now as they look to launch from just outside the Crusaders 22m. Nanai gets a tough pass, gathers it in but the Crusaders are all over him and force the turnover before Hall clears.

74mins: CRUSADERS TRY - BRIDGE: Taramai falls off the tackle of Goodhue and the centre's in space! He puts the foot down, defence coming so he fires a long cutout pass to Bridge on the winger and all he has to do is step inside and go over for another try. That's his hat-trick. What a peformance.

72mins: Nock darts from the ruck and he's in open space! He links up with Nanai, he steps one before being dragged down, pops the ball up to Nock from the ground and he's tackled just five metres out before the Crusaders force the Blues into touch.

70mins: Blues replacements front rowers combining well out wide, putting it through the hands and making steady progress. Taufua is pinged for not rolling away the breakdown and is penalised. 

68mins: Duffie does well to get up and win the restart and the Blues have it inside the Crusaders 22m. Oh no, spoke to soon as the ball comes free and the ruck and Mo'unga clears down field.

66mins: CRUSADERS TRY - BRIDGE: Whitelock gets up to win the lineout, Hall finds a charging Tamanivalu and he's in a ton space! He runs it left, links up with Dagg and it's a simple pass to Bridge and he's over for the try in the corner. Beautiful set move.

64mins: Wright throws in the lineout and the Blues concede the penalty for being offside as they looked to maul it. Crusaders now with the lineout throw on the Blues 10m. 

62mins: Blues do well to counter ruck and win the penalty as a Crusaders player had their hands in the ruck. Gatland finds touch about 30 metres out. Blues look well up for this.

60mins: Blues get the ball back from the scrum but Akira's wrapped up well. Gatland tries the bomb and Dagg's underneath it and takes it well. Hall kicks long from the ruck before Gatland finds touch.

57mins: Rieko takes in the kick-off and the Blues look to play their way out of the 22m. Not making much progress so Gatland pumps it down field for Taufua to run it back and run it back he does.

55mins: BLUES TRY - NANAI: Akira man-handles Drummond and the Blues win the penalty. Gatland finds touch about 10 metres out from the try line. Nee-Nee gets up to win it, they look to drive but it's not going anywhere. They break for Perofeta to get on the outside of his man, he fires it to Nanai and he's in in the corner for the try! He made that finish look incredibly difficult.

53mins: Blues playing with a bit more confidence now as Collins and Nanai combine well down the left wing. Rieko makes his most promising run of the game as he gets on the outside of the defender. Play comes to end as the Blues knock on.

51mins: BLUES TRY - PENALTY TRY: Blues putting the pressure on at the scrum and are awarded the penalty try! Wow. Can you believe it? The Crusaders front row were just absolutely demolished. So something to smile about for Blues fans. 

49mins: This time the drive is stuffed well so the Blues break away. They're keeping tight though, taking it up through the middle with their big men. They finally go wide and Perofta almost goes over. Crusaders knock at the ruck and we'll have a scrum.

47mins: Nee-Nee gets up to win the lineout ball and now the Blues look to drive. They're making good progress and win the penalty. Makali pinged for collapsing the maul. Blues opt for the lineout.

45mins: CRUSADERS TRY - GOODHUE: Crusaders win the lineout and drive it up towards the try line. They're stopped just a metre out and break away. Mo'unga fires a flat pass to Goodhue who runs in untouched to score under the sticks. 

43mins: Mo'unga tries to find Bridge with the cross-kick, he taps it back the Crusaders way and Goodhue charges ahead. Bridge gets it again and puts the foot down before being dragged down inside the 22m. They switch right and the ball goes into touch for a Saders lineout.

41mins: We're back underway and Strange has the restart under control before Drummond goes high with the box kick and Gatland does well to take it in on the charge.

HALFTIME: CRUSADERS 19 - 5 BLUES

40mins: CRUSADERS TRY - TAMANIVALU: Mo'unga tries some footwork but Kaino's there to wrap him up. Crusaders still have it just inside their own half. Perry makes a nice run before Dagg steps and offloads. Crusaders now making good progress up the middle. Drummond shows it, holds it up, looks to offloads, it's tapped back his way, passes to Tamanivalu from the deck and he's in for the try! Nobody stopping him that close out.

38mins: This time the Blues win the lineout bal and immediately break away for Perofeta to charge but he knocks on in contact before the Blues concede the penalty for being offisde.

36mins: Pulu has a dart from the scrum and puts Perofeta in a bit of space before he's dragged down. Gatland tries the cross-kick knowing they have the advantage, comes to nothing so we'll come back. Blues lineout seven or so metres out from the try line.

34mins: Pulu's box kick doesn't go anywhere but straight up and it bounces the way of the Crusaders. They're just outside the Blues 22m and Perry's pass to Crotty is poor and he knocks on.

31mins: BLUES TRY - NANAI: Gatland puts up the bomb and Dagg does well to catch it behind him before Tamanivalu goes on another strong run. Crusaders switching directions but struggling to make a break. Dagg shows the ball, then looks to pop it to Todd but Nanai taps it up to himself, re-gathers and races 40 metres to score the try.

29mins: Blues go wide through Duffie but Bridge makes a good tackle around the boot laces. Collins spots space and tries the grubber through but Dagg reads it well and forces it down for a drop out.

27mins: Tamanivalu gets rid of a couple of Blues players before the Crusaders turn it over. Perry is penalised for a high tackle and the Blues turn down the easy shot at goal for a lineout. Blues can't make use of it and the Crusaders win it back.

25mins: This time Strange reads the kick-off well and takes it in. Drummond puts the box kick up and Akira drops it cold. Never looked comfortable as he went knee up in the attempted grab.

23mins: CRUSADERS TRY - BRIDGE: Clarke is going to have to come off injured to Gatland's replaced him, Duffie goes to the wing and Perofeta shifts to fullback.

Tamanivalu runs up the middle from the scrum win and the Crusaders are just 10 metres out. They go wide, putting it through the hands and Bridge scores the easiest of tries on the left wing.

20mins: Blues struggling to make metres on this Crusaders defence. Duffie shows the ball before putting the foot down and surging down the right wing. Blues up inside the 22m. They're building nicely and they're now just five metres out as Clarke has a burst. 

Kaino has charge but has the ball ripped away from him and the Crusaders have it! Crotty's being tracked so he clears it down field. Blues got it up to 21 phases but have nothing to show for it.

18mins: Crusaders building steadily, taking up through the middle. Blues defence now causing bit of disruption as the ball comes free and Taufua is penalised for holding on.

16mins: Taufua makes a strong run and the Crusaders are up inside the 22m. Gibson makes a nice tackle and the ball's come free for the Blues to clear. 

14mins: Hodgman is penalised at the scrum and Mo'unga finds touch just outside the 22m. Blues just seem rushed on attack right now but they aren't without their chances.

11mins: Blues win the lineout and try the drive. They're not really making any progress and the ball eventually comes free for Read to pounce onto and the Crusaders are tackled into touch.

9mins: Akira goes blind side from the scrum win and busts through a couple of would-be tacklers. Blues go right through Rieko and he makes a strong run up the middle. Perry concedes the penalty and the Blues opt for the corner. 

7mins: Strange misjudges the kick-off and the ball is allowed to bounce before Drummond does well to clean up. Crusaders recover well and clear for the Blues counter.

5mins: CRUSADERS TRY - GOODHUE: Blues defence up right in the faces of the Crusaders and force them back five metres. Crusaders still have it, Crotty holds the pass up beauitfully for Goodhue to pounce on to and he steps one before crashing over the try. Too easy.

3mins: Tamanivalu's in sapce down the right wing! He bumps off Clarke, fends Akira before finding Drummond on the inside. Goodhue gets it, finds support and the Crusaders are just five metres out. Blues knock on in the tackle so we'll have a scrum.

1mins: Mo'unga gets the game underway and it's Pulu who gets under it before clearing down field for Read to have a gallop.

7:32pm: Teams making their way out now. Teams on opposite sides of the table, but should hopefully be an entertaining clash. Moments away from kick-off.

7:25pm: Here's hoping this game can follow the lead of the previous one. Plenty of action, as well as late drama.

7:22pm: Thank you for joining as the Crusaders play host to the Blues. Not much to play for really. Crusaders looking to go into the playoffs on a winning note, while the visitors will want to send off Jerome Kaino on a winning note. So in that regard, plenty to play for!

Kia ora and welcome to AMI Stadium as the Crusaders take on the Blues in the final round of Super Rugby before the playoffs.

We bring you live streaming written commentary, (BE SURE TO REFRESH YOUR BROWSER), and all the action.

Commentary will start at 7.20pm.

Lineups

Crusaders
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 (c), 4 Quinten Strange, 3 Michael Alaalatoa, 2 Andrew Makali, 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.

Blues
15 Matt Duffie, 14 Melani Nanai, 13 Michael Collins, 12 Rieko Ioane, 11 Caleb Clarke, 10 Stephen Perofeta, 9 Augustine Pulu (c), 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.

Match officials
Referee: Federico Anselmi
Assistant Referees: Jamie Nutbrown, Mike Fraser
TMO: Shane McDermott

Previous results
Sat, 19 May 2018 Crusaders v Blues 32-24 Auckland
Fri, 17 Mar 2017 Crusaders v Blues 33-24 Christchurch
Sat, 28 May 2016 Crusaders v Blues 26-21 Auckland
Fri, 04 Mar 2016 Crusaders v Blues 28-13 Christchurch
Sat, 06 Jun 2015 Crusaders v Blues 34-11 Auckland

Head-to-head
Crusaders $1.12 Blues $5.85

Pre-match banter: Blues focus on fitting farewell for Jerome Kaino

The Blues will look to end their disappointing season on a high by sending Jerome Kaino off with a win against the Crusaders on Saturday.

The two-time World Cup winner will make his way to France to join Toulouse after a 138-game tenure with the Auckland-based Super Rugby franchise, which is good enough for second on their all-time list behind Keven Mealamu.

Selection depth has been severely tested with 16 players ruled out of contention, but coach Tana Umaga is preferring to focus on giving Kaino a fitting farewell.

"This game means a lot," said Umaga. "We want to send Jerome off in the best possible fashion.

"We are going into a cauldron in Christchurch, but we have to go with eyes wide open and also take confidence from the game last week.

"We have to do well on both sides of the ball. We had some individual lapses in defence and that’s something we’ve worked on.

"They are a quality side and have been for a long time, but we are excited to get out there, and do our best for us and for Jerome."

The only change from the pack that lost to the Hurricanes on Saturday is a start for Ben Nee-Nee, after an injury to Matiaha Martin, while the backline remains the same.

The 42-24 loss to the Hurricanes was their 11th, leaving the former Super Rugby powerhouses on the verge of equalling their second-worst season record.

The worst was a 3-13 return in 2015, the final season under John Kirwan before Umaga began his unflattering tenure.

The Blues' lone starting change this week is at lock, where Ben Nee-Nee replaces the injured Matiaha Martin.

The Crusaders have made six changes from the team who trumped the Highlanders 45-22.

Only one member of their all-All Black tight five - captain Sam Whitelock - remains while Israel Dagg returns at fullback in just his fourth appearance of an injury-ravaged season.

Newshub.