Live Updates: Blues vs Crusaders

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Blues 22 - 24 Crusaders

That's all from me, stay tuned for the match wrap. I will also be live updating the Hurricanes match up next. 

Full time: The Crusaders hang on to win their season opener. 

80th minute: Pulu runs blind side and is taken out of touch.... Bad option from the halfback. 

77th minute: Penalty to the Blues here, 47 metres out. Kick is wide.  

73rd minute: TRY! Pulu scores. Off the back of a lineout drive the reserve halfback flies over the try line and can't be stopped. Kick from Plummer is wide.  

71st minute: Blues win a penalty in a kick able position. Big decision here. 

69th minute: Knock on from the Blues, big moment there - great field position. 

67th minute: Yellow card! Hands in the ruck - slowing the ball down and Ben Funnell will be off the pitch for the next 10. 

63rd minute: Another penalty try! The crowd doesn't like it, the Blues collapse and the ref gives a penalty try. Fair call if you ask me. 

62nd minute: Crusaders penalty after the Blues front row collapsed. 

60th minute: Matt Todd goes close from the lineout drive. Scrum Crusaders feed. 

58th minute: Great run from Braydon Ennor who gets a lovely ball to find a gap. Crusaders win a penalty on the 5m line. Big moment here. 

54th minute: What a try! Mataele scores - George Bridge hits a fantastic gap and finds Mataele with a long pass and he scores in the corner. Kick is wide.

Tim Perry comes off with what looks to be a shoulder injury. Moody will replace him. 

53rd minute: What an offload from Robinson - SBWesque. and Plummer goes through the gap. Crusaders win a penalty thanks to Scott Barrett. 

52nd minute: TRY Ofa Tu'ungafasi - Great work from the Blues controlling the game at scrum time and Ioane makes another break and the big replacement prop goes over for a try. 

SBW is on, he will be with Nonu in the midfield. 

50th minute: Another scrum penalty, Blues call another scrum.

49th minute: Both teams clearing the banch here. SBW is ready to come on. 

47th minute: Back for the penalty. Last warning for the Saders at the breakdown. "Tidy it up or someone will go." Scrum Blues. 

42nd minute: TRY!!! Akira Ioane - WOW! What a try. That was a vintage Blues try. Michael Collins made the break down the right wing and popped a ball on the inside to Patrick Tuipolotu who finds Ioane. He fends Mo'unga in the shoulder to score. Kick is good.  

41st minute: The Blues start the second half on the front foot but the Crusaders have the ball back. 


40th minute: Held up!! Desperate defence has stopped the Blues from going over. Akira Ioane goes over for the try but is held up - no time for the scrum. It's half time. 

39th minute: Blues win a penalty in a good position - Kick for touch. 

Robinson is back on 

36th minute: Nanai collects a great kick through from Black but George Bridge does well to take him into touch. 

33rd minute: The Crusaders go for the lineout drive again, this time Dalton Papalii earns a scrum for the Blues. 

32nd minute: The Crusades go for the lineout drive again, they get an advantage and win the penalty. 

31st minute: The Crusaders win a penalty off their own scrum feed, kick for touch - big momentum for the Saders. 

28th minute: The Blues win a penalty and Akira Ioane takes a quick tap and makes 20 metres - but Scott Barrett with great work at the breakdown wins the Saders a penalty.

26th minute: Penalty try! A great line out drive from the visitors and referee Nick Bryant calls a penalty try and sends off Tom Robinson - so a double blow for the Blues. 

25 minute: Joe Moody makes a great run to make 10 or so metres. The Crusaders win a penalty after Sione Mafileo failed to roll away. 

23rd minute: The Blues have been pinged for being offside. Crusaders go for the kick and Mo'unga misses to the right. 

21st minute: The Blues win another penalty, they opt for the kick and it's wide. 

18th minute: AW NO!! TRY TIME! Mataele scores. After the scrum Mo'unga goes for the cross field kick, its wasn't very good but Michael Collins can't hold on to the ball and the winger finishes the try off. Kick is wide.  

16th minute: A chargedown from Strange and it's a knock on from each side. Saders scrum close to the Blues line. 

15th minute: Very close to a try there. Malani Nanai just made a huge tackle. Bridge is away and Nanai chases him down and forces an error. 

13th minute: The Blues win a penalty just outside the 22 and decide to take the shot. Kick is good from Otere Black. 

11th minute: Really good defence so far from both sides, the Blues win a free kick deep in the Saders half. 

8th minute: The home side has had all the ball early on but have nothing to show. Fantastic defence from the Crusaders. 

7th minute: The Blues have plenty of intent with ball in hand but can't get a way through the Crusaders defence. 

4th minute: Great defence from the champions, they win a scrum feed after withstanding 10 or so phases. 

2nd minute: Blues win a penalty just over half way. Good start from the home side. 

1st minute: Kick-off at Eden Park 

Just moments away from kick-off now!! 


Kia ora, good evening and welcome to Newshub's coverage of the Super Rugby match between the Blues and Crusaders from Eden Park.

The Crusaders will be starting their quest for a three-peat as they head to Auckland for the second of two New Zealand derbies on the opening weekend. 

The defending champions will be without All Blacks Kieran Read, Sam Whitelock, Jack Goodhue and Codie Taylor but have plenty of depth to help see them through the season opener. 

The big talking point out of the Blues this year is the return of Ma'a Nonu and will immediately look to make an impact - being named as a starter on the outside of TJ Faiane. 


Blues: 1-Alex Hodgman, 2-James Parsons, 3-Sione Mafileo, 4-Patrick Tuipulotu (c), 5-Josh Goodhue, 6-Tom Robinson, 7-Dalton Papalii, 8-Akira Ioane, 9-Jonathan Ruru, 10-Otere Black, 11-Rieko Ioane, 12-TJ Faiane, 13-Ma'a Nonu, 14-Melani Nanai, 15-Michael Collins

Reserves: 16-Matt Moults, 17-Karl Tu'inukuafe, 18-Ofa Tu'ungafasi, 19-Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, 20-Matt Matich, 21-Augustine Pulu, 22-Harry Plummer, 23-Sonny Bill Williams.

Crusaders: 1-Joe Moody, 2-Andrew Makalio, 3-Owen Franks, 4-Scott Barrett, 5-Quinten Strange, 6-Jordan Taufua, 7-Matt Todd, 8-Whetu Douglas, 9-Bryn Hall, 10-Richie Mo'unga, 11-George Bridge, 12-Ryan Crotty, 13-Braydon Ennor, 14-Manasa Mataele, 15-David Havili

Reserves: 16-Ben Funnell, 17-Tim Perry, 18-Michael Alaalatoa, 19-Luke Romano, 20-Tom Sanders, 21-Mitchell Drummond, 22-Mitchell Hunt, 23-Will Jordan

TAB Odds  Blues $3.23   Crusaders $ 1.35 

Pre-match banter: Ma'a Nonu reveals All Black World Cup aspirations

Don't rule out the prospect of Ma'a Nonu wearing a black jersey in 2019.

The 103-test All Black has returned home after a three-year stint in French rugby with Toulon and will wear Blues colours during Super Rugby.

But the carrot of a third World Cup crown could see the 36-year-old add to his impressive tally of tests.

While admitting he hasn't spoken to All Blacks coach Steve Hansen, Nonu hinted that a return to the national fold is in his thoughts.

"It's there in everyone's minds," Nonu said on Tuesday. "For me, it's trying to make the Blues team first, so one step at a time."

First and foremost is a Super Rugby campaign with the rebuilding Blues, as the franchise seeks a first title since 2003, under new coach Leon MacDonald.

Nonu will form a potentially devastating midfield alongside Sonny Bill Williams.

Without a Super Rugby title on his resume, Nonu has pinpointed a successful campaign as a major factor in his return to New Zealand.

"I haven't won a Super Rugby comp before, having come up short twice," he said. "I've played in quite a few semi-finals with the Hurricanes, so going that step further is a real drive for this year."

Under MacDonald's new regime, Nonu believes the Blues are more than prepared to turn the franchise's fortunes around.

The former Crusaders assistant coach replaced Tana Umaga late last year, with the former All Blacks captain stepping back to be part of MacDonald's staff.

Nonu has been impressed with what MacDonald has implemented during his short time in charge.

"Leon has been great," Nonu said. "He has brought a real high standard into the environment and brought that culture where we train to be the best.

"We expect the best from each other and we work hard for each other. The intensity is right up there.

"You can't miss a beat when running plays and through the fitness aspects of the game, so you have to stay up."

The Blues open their campaign against the two-time defending champion Crusaders on Saturday.