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Crusaders - 26 Blues - 15
FULLTIME - Click here for a full wrap and highlights.
76 mins - TRY CRUSADERS - Mo'unga conducting his backline to perfection, the no-look short ball to Will Jordan who dives over next to the post to put the nail in the Blues' coffin. (Crusaders 26-15)
74 mins - Crusaders one off the ruck, working their way ever closer to the Blues' line...
70 mins - Bomb spilled right back into Crusaders' hands. Kick deep into the corner, barrett urges it to go over the line but is forced to pick it up late and he's bundled into touch. Crusaders 5m lineout.
68 mins - Drummond box kick, Blues players get in each other's way, accidental offside. Crusaders scrum at their own 10m.
66 mins - Crusaders pound away at the Blues' line, defence holding on. Penalty advantage blown up, this should be three more points for the locals. I think the Blues will probably welcome this. Mo'unga sends over the black dot. What can the Blues pull out now? (Crusaders 19-15)
64 mins - Crusaders right back on the offensive with momentum on their side, rolling the maul just 10m out from the Blues' line...
61 mins - TRY CRUSADERS - Mo'unga unleashes Bridge down the left flank with a laser skip pass, who then links inside with Mitchell Drummond to jog it around behind the posts. Conversion is over and the locals have their first lead.
59 mins - Back and forth the kicks go, it's been bombs away here tonight in these conditions. Barrett sends one out on the full, Crusaders lineout at the Blues 10m.
58 mins - Poor lineout throw Crusaders, Blues clear back deep into Crusaders' territory. Barrett drops one on a dime, pinpoint kick to put the Crusaders deep in their own 22 for a lineout.
57 mins - Crusaders go short from the restart and Mo'unga is away, dragged down at the Blues' 22m. The crowd lifts to defeaning levels as their team roars ahead, but a dropped pass lets the Blues off the hook. Wow, take a breath. Frantic stuff here.
55 mins - TRY BLUES - Blues earn a scrum penalty, they tap and go quickly, Akira Ioane stopped inches short. Plummer goes wide with a lovely flat pass to Rieko Ioane, who tucks it away and barrages over to score. Conversion is charged down! Bizarre. (Blues 15-9)
54 mins - Black hoists a bomb, ball propelled back towards the Crusaders tryline and there's a mad scramble. Crusaders recover, Plummer can't quite get to it. Referees gather to decide whose hand it came off last...and we'll have a 5m scrum to the Blues. Huge opportunity here.
53 mins - Havili looks to stab a kick through but it's straight into touch on the full. Blues lineout at the Saders' 10m.
51 mins - Penalty to the Blues at the scrum. Plummer will call for the kicking tee after a brief discussion. Tricky angle here, 40m out near the touchline... and that wasn't close.
49 mins - Blues scrum at the Crusaders 10m.
47 mins - Crusaders with some front foot ball, win a penalty themselves. Another dubious call relating to rolling away, Papalii pinned after a huge hit. Mo'unga slots it from right in front. (Blues 10-9)
44 mins - Penalty advantage Blues, Barrett will kill the play and opt for the gift three points. (Blues 10-6)
43 mins - Blues keep it tight and make good progress, metres out now...
42 mins - Penalty to the Blues for offside. Barrett finds touch and the Blues will launch from 10m from the Crusaders' line.
41 mins - Blues lineout at halfway.
Second half underway...
40 mins - Taylor with a half break, inside the Blues 22m they go. Crusaders having to fight for every metre here. Fumble at the ruck, and the Blues survive. They feed the scrum and win a penalty, Barrett sends it straight into touch to take us to halftime.
38 mins - Sotutu snags a savvy intercept. Barrett clears, but only as far as the 22m.
36 mins - Make that 14 phases and counting...Blues get a stray hand on a pass, Saders will claim the scrum. Brilliant defence from the visitors, but they're not out of danger yet.
35 mins - Staunch Blues defence here, Saders unable to breach their 22m after 10 phases.
33 mins - Clarke with room to move off another slick setpiece. Stringing phases together, until Barrett is penalised for going in the side of the ruck. Saders penalty and play will move all the way back to the Blues 22m.
32 mins - Blues lineout at the Crusaders 10m.
30 mins - Another Crusaders penalty, not rolling away in the tackle. Hard done by there, Plummer really had nowhere to go. Mo'unga lines one up from 35m out...sends it through. (Blues 7-6)
29 mins - Kicking duel ensues, ends with a Saders lineout at the Blues 10m.
27 mins - Saders keep it tight. Penalty advantage cashed in, Mo'unga will look to the posts from almost right in front. No mistake made. (Blues 7-3)
25 mins - Another handling mistake from the Saders. Blues feed a scrum near halfway. But the Saders win a penalty at the scrum, incorrect binding. Mo'unga takes them to a lineout at the 22m.
24 mins - Defensive penalty for the Saders. They find touch at halfway.
21 mins - Scrum penalty for the Blues. Again they luanch, giong wide with pace. Barrett through half a gap, foot just dragged into touch in a desperation tackle. Bryn Hall under pressure from the lineout, kicks one directly into touch to give the Blues another shot from 22m out.
19 mins - Poor throw from Parsons, sails over the back of the lineout. Saders win a penalty and turn down a handy shot at goal. Mo'unga looks to touch, and he's kicked it dead on the full. Blues scrum near their 10m.
18 mins - Blues defensive line holds, Papalii leaps in to make the steal at the breakdown and they win a penalty. Barrett bangs one all the way back to halfway.
17 mins - Akira Ioane goes into the breakdown too high. Saders penalty. Their best attacking chance of the half so far here, 15m from the Blues line.
16 mins - Kicks traded back and forth, Barrett finds touch at halfway for a Crusaders throw. Blues steal it and work their way upfield.
15 mins - Crusaders earn a relieving penalty. They'll throw a lineout at halfway.
13 mins - Havili teakes a bomb at halfway and is nailed by Tuipulotu. Mo'unga launches one high, Telea brings it in and takes off down the right edge. Beats two defenders before a super Bridge tackle stops the attack just 15m from the line.
10 mins - TRY BLUES - The Blues' forwards edge their way to within inches of the line, before Otere Black flings a beautiful long skip pass to Mark Telea, who leaps to dot down in the corner. Black slots the conversion from right on the sideline. (Blues 7-0)
8 mins - No, a lone hand under the ball from a Crusaders defender saves the day. They'll pack another scrum 5m out.
7 mins - Bit of difficulty getting this scrum set. Sotutu off the back of the scrum with an explosive run, carries about four defenders with him and looks like he may have got that down over the chalk. The refs will look to the video.
5 mins - Akira Ioane bursts through the middle on a lovely set play. Barrett has space wide, slides a grubber right inside the corner flag. Crusaders lineout throw is wonky and the Blues will have a superb attacking chance here, 5m out.
4 mins - Crusaders in the middle of the park. Goodhue shanks a kick into touch on the full, Blues lineout at halfway.
3 mins - Blues with momentum, Black puts in a wee chip kick and the Blues are pinged for offside.
2 mins - Barrett puts one up, and Mo'unga replies by putting it into touch. Blues lineout at the Crsuaders' 10m.
1 min - Richie Mo'unga gets proceedings started. Black goes high and Havili is up to the task. Telea interception and the Blues go wide early, Papali'i to the Crsuaders' 10m.
7:03pm - Codie Taylor leads the Crusaders out on to the paddock, followed closely by the red-hot Patrick Tuipulotu and the Blues. Odd order there, but okay.
7pm - Conditions are as typically greasy and cold as you'd expect in Christchurch on a July evening, but there's not a breath of wind or hint of rain.
Kia ora and welcome to play-by-play coverage, as the Blues and Crusaders renew their age-old rivalry in a highly anticipated, top-of-the-table clash in Christchurch.
Commentary will start from around 7pm. In the meantime check out the video above for a preview of today's big match.
Crusaders - $1.29 Blues - $3.35
Thorne predicts 'exciting, tight' Crusaders clash against Blues
By Ben Francis
Former Crusaders captain Reuben Thorne is predicting his former side will face a tough challenge when they take on the Blues in a highly anticipated top of the table Super Rugby Aotearoa clash on Saturday night.
Both sides are unbeaten this season in what has been the most talked-about clash between the two sides for some time.
The Crusaders have won their last 11 games against the Blues, with their last defeat coming when Benji Marshall was on the bench for the Auckland side on February 28, 2014.
Patrick Tuipulotu and James Parsons are the only remaining Blues players that played in that 35-24 win in Auckland while Sam Whitelock is the lone Crusader remaining.
Speaking to Newshub, Thorne said it's good to see the Crusaders and Blues rivalry reignited.
"It's going to be exciting," he says. "Both teams are playing well, and the Blues have been in phenomenal form.
"They will be coming down full of confidence, and it's been a while since they beat the Crusaders, so they'll be desperate to turn that around."
If you want to remember the last time the Blues won in Christchurch, you have to reminisce back to 2004 when Thorne captained the team.
In that game, Carlos Spencer scored a late try and famously flipped the bird to the Jade Stadium crowd after slotting the ensuing sideline conversion in a 38-29 win.
"It was a typical Blues v Crusaders match which went down to the wire," Thorne recalls. "It was a typical display from Carlos where he had that touch and ability to break out from anywhere.
"They had lots of good players, and we had them under the pump, and they were able to turn that around. It is one of those games people will always remember."
However, Thorne reckons the Blues' wait for their first win in Christchurch in 16 years will go on, as he's predicting a narrow Crusaders win.
"I'm going to back the Crusaders. They haven't lost in Christchurch in a long time, but it is going to be tight.
"Their defence is going to have to be tight, they're going to have to be sharp and accurate.
"They will create opportunities, but the biggest challenge will be stopping the Blues' attacking players. It certainly won't be easy."