Super Rugby Aotearoa: Blues out to reignite age-old rivalry with Crusaders after seven-year losing streak

There's an air of confidence the Blues can turn around their fortunes against the Crusaders and snap a seven-year losing streak, when the two sides meet at Eden Park this weekend.

Easily the form teams in Super Rugby Aotearoa, Sunday's top-of-the-table clash will see one of the longest rivalries in New Zealand sport return to its peak.

Despite making the perfect start to their Super Rugby Aotearoa season, this week is different, and there's been an edge at Blues training.

Coming up against the four-time defending champion Crusaders will show whether Leon MacDonald's side really is the real deal.

"We've obviously got a lot of confidence in our game," MacDonald says.

"We're starting to work out what we're good at, and we try and do it more often.

"But, when you get put under pressure, that's a different thing."

And if there's one team where pressure is par for the course, it's the Crusaders. The Blues know the challenge in front of them.

"I don't think we need extra motivation," MacDonald adds. "The motivation is already there."

Canterbury against Auckland is an age-old rivalry. But recently, it's been very one sided.

The Blues haven't beaten the Crusaders in seven years. But with the side looking back to their best under MacDonald, there's a feeling the rivalry of old is about to be reignited.

"There is a lot of talk around town when you're walking along the streets," says MacDonald.

"As a player, when I was involved in these games, you'd start hearing from people on Monday. And this definitely has that buzz."

MacDonald is in the unique position of having been on both sides of the rivalry - as a player for the Crusaders, and now coaching the Blues.

But his former team mate is under no illusions where his loyalties lie for Sunday's grudge match.

"He's shed a lot of blood in this jersey," Crusaders coach Scott Robertson says.

"But he's worked hard and earned the respect of the boys up there. He's doing his job as a professional."

A win over his old team is now the next thing to tick off.

Join Newshub for live updates of the Blues v Crusaders Super Rugby Aotearoa clash from 3:35pm Sunday.