Super Rugby Aotearoa: Blues in backs-to-the-wall situation going into Crusaders showdown

The Blues admit they've backed themselves into a corner and it's on them to find a way out if they're to nab a spot in the Super Rugby Aotearoa final.

After starting the year as one of the title favourites, their season now hangs in the balance, as they fight to stay in contention.

Leon MacDonald's side have lost their killer instinct in recent weeks, tasting defeat in three of their last four matches.

And after occupying one of the top two spots throughout Super Rugby Aotearoa, they've been overtaken by the Chiefs and have a fight on their hands to take it back.

"We're backed into a corner," Blues winger Caleb Clarke tells Newshub. "We have a challenge on our hands, we have to win these games, so I think we're really excited, especially as a team that's always thrived in desperate situations."

None more desperate than right now - a loss in either of their last two games will end their season.

Once again, the Blues face do-or-die rugby.

"We treat this like a quarter-final," Clarke adds. "We've got two games left and we can look at next week like a semi-final, but for now, this is how we look at it."

And to keep their season alive, they face a wounded Crusaders outfit, which have dropped two of their last three matches and will take a similar approach to the Blues into Sunday's clash.

"If we get the result, then we set ourselves up for a home final," says Crusaders hooker Codie Taylor. "I think our mindset has to be that this is a playoff game."

The defending champions were coasting up until their round five bye week, but they've shown vulnerabilities ever since.

"We always knew this was going to be a bloody hard competition," says Crusaders winger George Bridge. "You see what it's been like the last few weeks, and we've had some tough games and we were prepared for that."

But so long as the Blues are still a chance, they believe they can tip the Crusaders up.

"They're down right now, so that's our time to pounce," Clarke concludes.

The Blues' title drought will continue if they can't.

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