Super Rugby 2019: Week six chat - Blues bench key against Highlanders

Does the Blues bench hold the key to their Super Rugby home stand against the Highlanders on Friday?

The Auckland-based franchise hasn't won a New Zealand derby since February 2016 - also against the Highlanders, also at Eden Park - and has already lost to the Crusaders in its season-opener at the same venue.

This week, their southern rivals are riding consecutive losses, as well as last week's cancelled fixture against the Crusaders, so momentum isn't on their side.

Newshub rugbyheads Ross Karl and John Day think the Blues may still struggle to break their duck, but note that coach Leon MacDonald has stacked his bench with All Blacks props Ofa Tuungafasi and Karl Tu'inukuafe, lock Patrick Tuipulotu and flanker Dalton Papalii.

"MacDonald has made this a real trend of his coaching tenure so far to leave firepower on the bench," says Day.

"It makes a lot of sense for the Blues, basically because they can't finish games," says Karl. "They're always anxious.

"They're always in these derbies, but it's a crooked lineout throw, a mishandled ball, mistake at the ruck, a lack of discipline… running into touch.

"But maybe if you bring on your All Blacks into the game late, maybe you'll have a better presence, instead of having rookies in there."

Watch the full video, as Karl and Day break down all the NZ Super Rugby fixtures and join us for live updates throughout the weekend.