Live updates: Super Rugby Aotearoa - Blues v Chiefs from Auckland's Eden Park

Live coverage has concluded

Blues 39 Chiefs 19

Blues - Eklund, Choat, Sullivan, Sotutu, 2 Lam tries; Black 3 conversions, penalty goal

Chiefs - B Sullivan try; Gatland 4 penalty goals, conversion

Click here for a full match wrap and highlights

Full time

80 mins - Blues try to AJ Lam

The Blues will get one final chance with a lineout seven-metres out. It's messy from but the home side cleans it up. Nock fires a pass wide to Sotutu who draws a defender before offloading to Lam who crashes over for his second of the evening. 

Black can't convert the try as the siren goes. (BLU 39-19)

79 mins 

It's all going wrong for the Chiefs with players in front of the kicker to give the Blues a scrum on halfway with a minute to play. 

78 mins - Blues try to AJ Lam

The lineout maul goes inches short before their spread it wide through the backs who show quick hands before they find AJ Lam in mountains of space and he strolls over in the corner to seal the result.  

Black can't convert the try. (BLU 34-19)

77 mins 

The Blues are finishing his game on fire as they storm downfield inside the Chiefs 22. After five phases, the Blues win a penalty and go for touch. 

74 mins - Blues try to Hoskins Sotutu

From the scrum, Sototu has burst off the back of the scrum and crashed over for what could be the match-winning try. 

But hang on the Chiefs are using their captain's challenge as they look for obstruction. Replays show there isn't and the try stands. Black converts the try to open up a 10-point lead. (BLU 29-19)

71 mins 

The Blues are hot on the attack with Rieko Ioane going inches short. The home gets fast ball and it looks like Sullivan will score for all money but Gatland makes a try-saving tackle.

The referee has ruled Gatland was offside so the Blues will have a penalty and they choose to take a scrum.

68 mins 

The Blues win a critical penalty at scrum time to see Black give them a lineout 15-metres from the Chiefs line. 

66 mins - Blues penalty goal to Otere Black 

The home side wins the ball back from the kickoff and start their attack inside the Chiefs 22. After 10-phases the attack comes to nothing but referee Mike Fraser was playing advantage and they choose to take the easy three points. 

Black nails the penalty goal from right in front to put the Blues back in front. (BLU 22-19)

62 mins - Try Chiefs to Bailyn Sullivan

What a try from the Chiefs. They are throwing everything at the Blues and finally, all their pressure has paid off. 

The Chiefs are hot on the attack deep inside the Blues 22. Gideon Wrampling gets on the outside of AJ Lam and as he was falling he offloads to Bailyn Sullivan who crashes over in the corner. 

Gatland has a chance to tie the scores with the conversion and he nails it from the sideline. (19-19)

57 mins 

The home side are looking to attack through captain Robinson who storms off downfield into the chiefs half. At the breakdown, the Blues give away a penalty and the Chiefs will have a lineout on the 22. 

54 mins - Try Blues to Zarn Sullivan

Sullivan scores on debut for the Blues. The home side spread the ball wide through the backs until they find Sullivan who bursts through a retreating defensive line and crashes over in the corner. 

Black can't convert the try. (BLU 19-12)

51 mins 

The Blues are building their attack inside the Chiefs 22 but the visitors when a breakdown penalty to ease the pressure. They take the touch finding kick quickly but it doesn't find touch and the Blues bring it back just inside the visitors high. 

47 mins - Chiefs penalty goal to Bryn Gatland 

The Chiefs are building their attack just short of the Blues 22. It comes to nothing and the home side give away another penalty and Gatland will have a shot at goal. 

It from right in front and 30-metres out and he nails it. (BLU 14-12)

45 mins

From the scrum, they go out to the backs, and Blacks fires a high pass over the top but it's too high and goes into touch to end the attack. A very disappointing finish. 

As the Chiefs look to clear, the home side gives away a breakdown penalty. The visitors choose to take it quickly and kick across field. Stevenson storms off downfield and is brought down on halfway. At the breakdown, the Blues give away a penalty and the visitors will have a lineout on the 22. 

42 mins

The Blues have made a hot start to the second half. Zarn Sullivan puts a nice grubber in behind which Heem sprints onto. He kicks it on and regathers it inside the Chiefs 22.

After six phases of attack, Choat goes low as he looks for his second of the night but he is just short and the ball is unplayable so it will be a Blues scrum five metres out.

Kickoff - Zarn Sullivan gets us underway for the second half. Can the Blues hold on and win the 'battle of the Bombays'? We'll find out in 40-minutes time. 


A very even first half but the experianced Blues team take a five point lead into the sheds after tries from Kurt Eklund and Adrian Choat. The Chiefs have managed three penalty goals through Gatland to have them in the contest. 

40 mins - Chiefs penalty goal to Bryn Gatland

The Chiefs have one final chance to attack in the first half just inside the Blues 22. After 11-phases, the home sides captain Tom Robinson gives away a breakdown penalty to give the visitors an easy three points, which they choose to take.

Gatland nails the penalty goal to send his side into the break five points down. (BLU 14-9)

37 mins 

There is a lot of bite in the contest now after that strange call that had the Chiefs fired up. The Blues go up the other end and start their attack but give away a breakdown penalty.

The Chiefs go for touch and have a lineout on the 22 but they fail to throw the ball straight to ease the pressure. 

34 mins - No try Chiefs to Ollie Norris

The Chiefs are hot on the attack and get fast ball but Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi throws one of the worst passes you'll ever see to force his team to go back 10-metres and force them to restart their attack. After 12-phases of attack, prop Ollie Norris burst into a hole to crash over. 

The Blues have used their captain's challenge to look for a knock-on. Replays show that there isn't a knock but somehow the TMO has ruled that a Chiefs playing has picked up the ball in an offside position even though the ball went backwards. Very strange call. 

32 mins 

Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi makes a mini-break from the ruck but makes a mistake when he is brought down but referee Mike Fraser was playing advantage and will go back for a penalty. 

The Chiefs choose to go for a lineout and it's 10-metres out. 

29 mins 

The Chiefs calm things down when Trask puts a nice grubber into touch deep inside the Blues 22. The home side make a meal of another lineout and the visitors get an opportunity to attack. 

After five phases, No.8 Gus Sowakula tries to smash his way over but in the process knocks the ball on. 

27 mins - Try Blues to Adrian Choat

The Blues think they have their second try of the evening. After four phases of attack with the forwards, Adrian Choat gets low and burrows his way over. Mike Fraser has gone upstairs and replays show he has got it down in a pile of bodies. 

The Blues flanker has come out with a big cut so he'll head off to the blood bin. Black converts the try. (BLU 14-6) 

25 mins 

After both sides trade kicks, the Blues start building their attack just short of the visitors 22. After eight phases of attack, the Chiefs give away a penalty for a dangerous tackle which Mike Fraser will have a second look at. 

The refereeing team decide that it's not worth a yellow card and the Blues will have a lineout 10-metres from the line.

22 mins - Chiefs penalty goal to Bryn Gatland

From the lineout, the Blues give away for Tele'a coming in the side at the breakdown. Gatland will have a shot from 25 metres out and right in front and he nails it. (BLU 7-6)

20 mins 

From a ruck 35 metres out, Shaun Stevenson picks and goes. He burst into a massive hole before Heem brings him down 10 metres out. He gets up and reaches out and scores but Mike Fraser will go upstairs.

Replays show Stevenson doesn't clearly release the ball constituting a double movement to give the Blues a penalty. 

19 mins - TRY Blues to Kurt Eklund

The Blues are building their attack just short of the Chiefs 22 when Christie delivers a short ball to Eklund to burst into a huge hole and sprint 25 metres to score under the posts. His fourth try of the season. 

Black converts the try. (BLU 7-3)

17 mins

The Blues lineout lets them down when Hoskins Sotutu knocks the ball on to blow an attack opportunity inside the Chiefs 22. 

15 mins

The Blues go back down the other end and start building phases of attack after a strong run from Heem. The attack comes to nothing and the Chiefs give away a penalty for a high tackle. 

13 mins

From the lineout, big No.8 Pita Gus Sowakula storms through a massive hole and gets down to the 22 before offloading to Stevenson. Heem gets back and inflicts a try-saving tackle to force the Chiefs wing into touch.

From the lineout, the Blues win a relieving penalty to ease the pressure.

10 mins

The Blues get their first opportunity to attack and they get deep inside the visitors 22. After 13-phases of stoic Chiefs defence, Robinson tries to burrow his way over but he is held up.

It will be a goal-line dropout, which Tele'a drops into touch. A big win for the Chiefs. 

6 mins

It has been a messy start from both sides as they try to ease their way into the contest. The Blues win a breakdown penalty bang on halfway and Zarn Sullivan will have a shot at goal and it lands just under the cross bar. 

It will be a 22-metre dropout.  

4 mins - Chiefs penalty goal to Bryn Gatland 

The Chiefs win an early penalty when Blues centre Rieko Ioane is called for a high tackle. Gatland will have a shot at goal -his first for the season. It's 45 metres out right in front and he nails it. (CHI 3-0) 

2 mins

The Blues make an early error when wing Bryce Heem puts down a high kick from Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi. The Chiefs will have a scrum right on halfway. 


Bryn Gatland gets us underway for the Chiefs in the last regular season game in Super Rugby Aotearoa

7:04pm - Both sides are out on the park on a perfect Auckland evening in front of a handy turnout at Eden Park. 

The referee for tonight's encounter is Mike Fraser. 

6:55pm - We are just 10-minutes away from kickoff in the 'battle of the Bombays'. The Blues will be out for revenge after the Chief scored a last gasp try to steal victory 15-12 in the last meeting. 


Kia ora, welcome to Newshub's live updates of Super Rugby Aotearoa final-round clash between the Blues and Chiefs from Auckland's Eden Park.

The Chiefs wrapped up their spot in the inaugural Super Rugby Aotearoa final with a last-gasp Damian McKenzie penalty goal to hand them a 26-24 victory over the Hurricanes and extend their winning run to five matches. 

The Waikato side haven't made a final since 2013, when they beat the Brumbies to win their second title on the trot. 

To prepare them for the showdown against the Crusaders, coach Clayton McMillan has rung the changes, with just two starting players from the Hurricanes victory making the matchday squad, while he's handed debuts to six players in a squad that sees 20 positional changes. 

Former All Black Liam Messam returns to the side at the age of 37 and could make his 180th appearance from the bench.

The Blues season has fallen away after a fast start, with four losses in their last five matches to leave them out of contention for their first final since 2003.

The home side haven't tasted victory since beating the Hurricanes at home in round seven, and will be looking to finish their domestic season on a high and take valuable momentum into the trans-Tasman competition. 

The Blues will be without star flanker Dalton Papalii, but they do welcome back Tom Robinson to claim the captaincy for the 'Battle of the Bombays'. 

TAB odds: Blues $1.13 Chiefs $5.35

Blues: 1-Karl Tu'inukuafe, 2-Kurt Eklund, 3-Nepo Laulala, 4-Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, 5-Sam Darry, 6-Tom Robinson (capt), 7-Adrian Choat, 8-Hoskins Sotutu, 9-Fin Christie, 10-Otere Black, 11-Caleb Clarke, 12-Tanielu Tele'a, 13-Rieko Ioane (c), 14-Bryce Heem, 15-Zarn Sullivan

Reserves: 16-Soane Vikena, 17-Ofa Tuungafasi, 18-Marcel Renata, 19-Josh Goodhue/Taine Plumtree, 20-Akira Ioane, 21-Sam Nock, 22-Harry Plummer, 23-AJ Lam

Chiefs: 1-Ollie Norris, 2-Bradley Slater, 3-Sione Mafileo, 4-Samipeni Finau, 5-Josh Lord, 6-Viliami Taulani, 7-Zane Kapeli, 8-Pita Gus Sowakula, 9-Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 10-Bryn Gatland, 11-Shaun Stevenson, 12-Rameka Poihipi, 13-Sean Wainui (c), 14-Bailyn Sullivan, 15-Kaleb Trask

Reserves: 16-Nathan Harris, 17-Ezekiel Lindenmuth, 18-Joe Apikotoa, 19-Liam Messam, 20-Tom Florence, 21-Xavier Roe, 22-Rivez Reihana, 23-Gideon Wrampling 

Veteran earns surprise call-up, as Chiefs reject rest 

Former All Black Liam Messam has earned a shock recall for the Super Rugby Aotearoa final-bound Chiefs.

The most-capped Chiefs player will have a chance to add to his 179 games for the franchise, as the team try to negotiate another wave of injuries, heading into their May 8 final against the Crusaders.

Already without kingpin Sam Cane, the Chiefs have now added Kaylum Boshier, Simon Parker, and Mitchell Karpik to the list of those who will play no further part of the 2021 campaign.

That's seen the 37-year-old Messam and Taranaki's Tom Florence brought into the squad for their final round-robin fixture against the Blues at Eden Park on Saturday.

Messam is a Chiefs stalwart, playing 13 seasons with the Hamilton-based side between 2006-18. He co-captained the side to their two Super Rugby titles in 2012-13.

After returning from two seasons in France with Toulon last year, Messam joined Waikato for their Mitre 10 Cup season and has since been a regular face at the Chiefs' weekly training sessions.

Liam Messam
Liam Messam Photo credit: Photosport

He featured for Māori All Blacks in their game against Moana Pasifika in December, but withdrew his name for Super Rugby selection, citing his desire to spend more time with his young family.

"Just a guy of his experience and mana," says assistant coach David Hill of Messam. "His presence, in meetings and on the field [will be beneficial].

"He doesn’t say as much as he used to when he was captain, arguing with refs and debating with coaches, but just having him there is good for the younger guys. He's the ultimate pro."

After answering a loose forward SOS, both Messam and Florence shape as selections for the dead rubber against the Blues this weekend, as coach Clayton McMillan contemplates striking a balance between continuing their steamroller momentum and allowing extra recovery for their marquee clash with the Crusaders the following week.

But judging by his players' enthusiasm at Tuesday's training, Hill suggests resting players may be easier in theory than in practice, particularly with a showdown against their northern neighbours on the cards.

"It would allow us to do [rest players], but we had a pile of players come in Monday morning ready to play again," says Hill.

"They're obviously enjoying their rugby, and are always keen to put on the Chiefs jersey and playing the Blues. That rivalry has got a few of them pretty excited.

"Everyone's keen and ready to play, and we've got a couple of niggles, but the majority of the squad's available."

Measures are already being taken to prevent players looking past the Blues and ahead to their mouth-watering finale against the defending champions.

"Analysts aren't allowed to put up any footage of the Crusaders or anything like that," he adds. "We'll do our best to keep things nice and focused.

"It's pretty easy once the days roll together, just stay on task."

Hill says the senior leadership group have discussed the importance of setting the tone early.

"Our best preparation for a final is having a good week this week and putting in a performance we're proud of on the weekend, and cracking on with that."

Chiefs Photo credit: Photosport

Another approach may be starting with their regular line-up, before unloading the substitute bench earlier than usual.

Either way, Hill is adamant that there won't be wholesale changes made to the starting XV this weekend.

"I don't think we're willing to rest anyone," Hill insists. "The guys who turned up on Monday are all ready to play.

"It's just a matter of finding the best mix for this game."

Prop Angus Ta'avao is part of the leadership group tasked with ensuring the Chiefs stay on task for the wounded Blues, who will come off a short turnaround from their loss to the Crusaders on Sunday.

"As a leadership group, we got together with Clayton, and talked about how we're going to frame it up and what that would look like.

"Obviously, it's there and confirmed, but we can't look too far ahead. We've got to make sure we nail this week and use it as a leaping board to rip into next week. 

"We've just got to stay in the moment."