Live updates: Super Rugby Women - Blues v Chiefs at Eden Park

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Blues 12 Chiefs 37

Blues - Maliepo & Brunt tries; Maliepo conversion

Chiefs - Veainu, Arakua, Elder, Connor & Reynods tries, Tubic 4 conversions & 2 penalties

Second half

40th minute: Maliepo takes a half gap toward the 22, but she's tackled and loses the ball. Chiefs spread the ball left and over halfway.

As time expires, they kick out and celebrate the victory in an historic match,

38th minute: Chiefs boss a scrum near their own line and break out of their 22, but knock the ball on inside their own territory. One last chance for the Blues to break their second-half scoring drought.

37th minute: Blues win a penalty in the Chiefs 22 and kick to touch for another attacking lineout... but the throw is not straight. That's typical of the Blues today.

33rd minute: Try to Arakua

From the lineout, Chiefs spread the ball and earn a penalty in midfield. They take a tap and Alley pops a pass over the top of the defence to Arakua, who bursts over the line, but referee Maggie Cogger-Orr calls for a review, giving no try.

The replay shows clear grounding and the try is awarded. Another superb sideline kick from Tubic - she's been impressive today, Chiefs 39-12.

32nd minute: Hohepa steals a Blues throw-in and the Chiefs mount another attack. Alley makes a probing run and earns a penalty at the breakdown.

Tubic kicks to the corner...

30th minute: Wills is smashed in a tackle and when the Chiefs chip ahead, Hutana sparks a breakout that ends with a Blues penalty.

29th minute: After a long injury break, Chiefs win a scrum in their own half and Thopson makes a long run into Blues territory down the right.

25th minute: Try to Elder

Boy, this game needed a try and it comes off another lineout win from Wills, who finds Houpapa-Barrett, and Elder is there for the offload and dash for the corner.

Tubic again converts from the sideline, Chiefs 32-12. That should seal it.

24th minute: An absolute hospital pass in midfield sees Nankivell smashed in a tackle and the Chiefs win a penalty. Tubic kicks to the corner - of course she does. 

23rd minute: Blues try a tricky move at the front of the lineout, but the return pass to hooker Tofa bobbles into touch.

22nd minute: Roos charges off the lineout, but her offload is knocked on and the Chiefs clear through Tubic.

21st minute: The Blues are on attack and earn a penalty in midfield. Maliepo kicks for the corner.

20th minute: Both Nankivell sisters are now on the field for the Blues, as injuries start to take a toll.

19th minute: Tubic makes a mistake in her own 22 and the Blues charge towards the tryline, desperately seek a score to narrow the margin.

As the ball spreads right, it's knocked on and the opportunity ends.

18th minute: Blues win a lineout and rumble towards halfway.

16th minute: Chiefs steal a Blue lineout throw in Blues territory and rumble towards the 22. They win a penalty and Elder taps quickly, but Tubic's long pass at the end of the movement is behind Teneti and into touch.

15th minute: Tubic kicks into Blues territory and the defence struggles to tidy up, so the Chiefs regather and mount another attack.

14th minute: Chiefs kick deep to Hutana and she initiates a breakout. The Chiefs eventually hack it clear from inside their 22, but the Blues charge back on attack.

11th minute: Togotogorua is hobbling off and Kate Williams must go as well, with blood streaming from a head wound.

Blackwell wins a lineout near the 22, but her team cannot control the ball and Tubic hoofs upfield.

Ninth minute: Neither side can control the ball in midfield, so McMenamin eventually just hacks the ball inside the Chiefs 22 and finds a fortuitous touch for an attacking lineout.

Blues can't win the lineout, which is just as well, because halfback Togotogorua is injured in the backfield.

Sixth minute: Try to Connor

Wills wins the lineout and her forwards gather behind her, with Connor at the rear, ball in hand. She simply hangs on for the ride to score, then makes an 'O' for Opotiki with her hands.

Tubic converts from the sideline, Chiefs 25-12.

Fifth minute: Tubic kicks to touch for an attacking lineout - a familiar pattern.

Fourth minute: Chiefs rumble towards the tryline and have penalty advantage.

Third minute: Maliepo slices her penalty attempt to the left of the posts.

From the dropout, McMenamin charges upfield, but the Chiefs again turn the ball over. 

First minute: Blues control their own kickoff and mount the first attack of the first half. They earn a penalty just outside the the 22 and Maliepo looks to the posts...

Halftime: Chiefs 18 Blues 12

40th minute: Ross wins the lineout, the Chiefs steal the ball, but Murray rips it back puts in a kick towards the tryline. Chiefs defence are too quick and touch down for  a dropout.

As the siren sounds, Tubic's dropout is caught by Moors on the wing, but when the Chiefs steal the ball back, they're penalised for throwing it into touch.

From a tap penalty, Murray runs hard towards the posts, but the Blues knock the ball on to end the half.

39th minute: Willis gets a finger on the throw, but Blackwell dominates the breakdown and the Chiefs are penalised.

38th minute: Chiefs win another penalty near the 22 and Tubic kicks for the corner again.

36th minute: Wills wins another lineout on the 22, but the Blues win a midfield penalty to relieve pressure.

35th minute: Chiefs steal the ball - it's Reynolds again - and have another opportunity inside the Blues half. Ngata Aerengamate is penalised for a no-arms tackle and Tubic kicks to the corner again.

30th minute: Chiefs try to mount another attack and Veainu makes another promising run down the left, but is bundled into touch. The Blues throw isn't straight, so another attacking opportunity for the Chiefs.

28th minute: Murray again charges upfield from the kickoff, but Reynolds is over the ball and the Blues are penalised at the breakdown. Tubic lines up a shot from just outside the 22 and coaxes it over to extend the lead, Chiefs 18-12.

25th minute: Try to Brunt

Roos wins the lineout and when the Blues spread the ball left, Brunt dummies to her wing and jinks her way over, just touching down in the tackle.

Maliepo's conversion from the left sideline just grazes the right upright, but misses, Chiefs 15-12.

24th minute: Blues win a lineout and mount an attack, but the Chiefs are penalised at the breakdown and Demant finds touch a few metres out from the tryline.

23rd minute: Chiefs foil a Blues attacking lineout and clear from a defensive scrum.

19th minute: Try to Reynolds

The lineout is well won by Kelsie Wills and her forwards drive over the line, with Reynolds at the back. She was the one to start the movement with a turnover and run.

Tubic hooks the conversion, Chiefs 15-7.

18th minute: Reynolds makes a promising run deep inside the 22 and the Chiefs earn a penalty a few metres out from the tryline. Tubic kicks for the corner and an attacking lineout.

17th minute: Chiefs turn over a ball on halfway and Tubic kick to open space, behind the Blues defence. Maliepo is hammered in a tackle, but the ball is scrambled to touch.

15th minute: Blues win a great lineout near halfway and mount an attack, drawing a penalty against the Chiefs.

Maliepo looks at the posts, midway between the 22 and 10-metre marks, but hooks it slightly.

11th minute: Try to Veainu 

Game of forceback developing, as the Blues try to take advantage of the setting sun into the Chiefs' eyes.

But from a misdirected kick, Langi Veainu finds gap up midfield and simply outsprints the defence for the corner. Tubic slots the converstion from the sideline, Chiefs 10-7.

Ninth minute: Try to Maliepo

Tubic makes a mistake from the kickoff and gifts the Blues an attacking lineout just a few metres out from the tryline.

After the forwards rumble towards the line, Maliepo finds a gap by the posts, juggling, but regathering the ball before touching down. She converts, Blues 7-3.

Sixth minute: Chiefs have the chance to score first with a penalty, after Aleisha Pearl-Nelson is pinged at the breakdown for not rolling away.

Hazel Tubi lines up a shot from just outside the 22 and slots it, Chiefs 3-0.

Fifth minute: Chiefs win the scrum, but the Blues defence is up quickly.

Fourth minute: Blues win a scrum, but the pass is a poor one to Togotogorua, who knocks on. Good attacking position for the Chiefs.

Second minute: Chiefs put in a big shove at the first scrum on the Blues 22, but the home team try to run it out of trouble.

First minute: Chiefs kick off and former rugby league international Krystal Murray takes the ball up the middle with the first run.

Pre-match: Ideal conditions in Auckland for this encounter and we hear the media fridge is well stocked, so a good turnout of rugby writers is expected.

A nice match-up within the match-up will see current Black Ferns Eloise Blackwell in a leadership battle with her predecessor, Les Elder.

Elder was appointed NZ captain in 2019, but stand down, when she fell pregnant, replaced by Blackwell.

Maggie Cogger-Orr will ref this encounter.


Kia ora, good afternoon and welcome to the first Super Rugby women's encounter between the Blues and Chiefs at Auckland's Eden Park.

Given the increased attention on developing women's rugby in recent years, it's somewhat surprising NZ Rugby has taken this long to conduct an inaugural women's fixture at this level, especially with COVID-19 closing down international opportunities.

Hopefully, this game will lead to bigger and better things in the future, building on the foundation laid through Farah Palmer Cup provincial play and narrowing the jump up to the Black Ferns international programme.

Blues: 1-Krystal Murray (Northland), 2-Te Kura Ngata Aerengamate (Northland), 3-Aleisha Pearl-Nelson (Auckland), 4-Eloise Blackwell (Auckland), 5-Maia Roos (Auckland), 6-Lisa Molia (Auckland), 7-Kate Williams (North Harbour), 8-Charmaine McMenamin (Auckland), 9-Luisa Togotogorua (Auckland), 10-Patricia Maliepo (Auckland), 11-Natahlia Moors (Auckland), 12-Ruahei Demant (Auckland), 13-Sylvia Brunt (Auckland), 14-Princess Elliot (Auckland), 15-Hayley Hutana (North Harbour).

Reserves: 16-Saphire Abraham (Auckland), 17-Aldora Itunu (Auckland), 18-Cristo Tofa (Auckland), 19-Liana Mikaele-Tu’u (Auckland), 20-Shannon Leota (Auckland), 21-Moana Cook (Auckland), 22-Tyler Nankivell (Northland), 23-Daynah Nankivell (Auckland)

Chiefs: 1-Angel Mulu (Bay of Plenty), 2-Luka Connor (Bay of Plenty), 3-Tanya Kalounivale (Waikato), 4-Kelsie Wills (Bay of Plenty), 5-Chyna Hohepa (Waikato), 6-Kendra Reynolds (Bay of Plenty), 7-Les Elder (Bay of Plenty), 8-Kennedy Simon (Waikato), 9-Arihiana Marino-Tauhinu (Counties Manukau), 10-Hazel Tubic (Counties Manukau), 11-Langi Veainu (Counties Manukau), 12-Chelsea Alley (Waikato), 13-Ngatokotoru Arakua (Counties Manukau), 14-Kelsey Teneti (Waikato), 15-Renee Holmes (Waikato)

Reserves: 16-Grace Houpapa-Barrett (Waikato), 17-Awhina Tangen-Wainohu (Waikato), 18-Leilani Perese (Counties Manukau), 19-Harono Te Iringa (Counties Manukau), 20-Pia Tapsell (Bay of Plenty), 21-Ariana Bayler (Waikato), 22-Shyanne Thompson (Counties Manukau), 23-Iritana Hohaia (Taranaki)

TAB odds: Chiefs $1.70, Blues $2

Hope for full women's Super Rugby next year - ex-Black Fern

This weekend's inaugural women's Super Rugby encounter will hopefully serve as a stepping stone for a full iteration of the competition in years to come, says former Black Fern-turned-Blues assistant coach Anna Richards.

As part of a doubleheader with the Blues and Chiefs at Eden Park on Saturday, the two respective women's sides will square off in the first encounter of its kind.

A host of Black Ferns stars will take part in the match, with the Blues captained by Eloise Blackwell and the Chiefs by Les Elder.

As a stalwart of women's rugby in New Zealand, former Black Ferns first-five Richards will be involved as the Blues assistant coach, telling of the process to see Saturday's encounter come to life.

"It's been a while in the making," she says. "There was a bit of talk about it last year, but COVID put a stop to that.

"They started discussions in January, probably around a pre-season game to start with, but it was a bit too difficult and impacted a Black Ferns camp.

"We wanted to really promote this game, so we wanted all the best players available, because it is a step up from the [Farah Palmer Cup]. We want to see more names, more Black Ferns, more high-interest players playing against each other.

"I think it'll be really good for the girls going forward."

While today's female players are the ones reaping the rewards, Blues captain Blackwell paid tribute to those who'd come before and helped to get the maiden women's Super Rugby game off the ground.

"It's incredible," says Blackwell. "Obviously those past players - the likes of Anna - really paved the way for us and even in my time in the game, I never imagined that this would actually come to fruition.

"It's a pretty big milestone for us to actually be thinking about running out, come Saturday. We do owe it to those old players - the likes of Anna - the former Black Ferns that have come before us.

"Without their hard work - and now the progression and support we've had in our game - this wouldn't have been able to happen."

While this year's game is just a one-off, Richards hopes for even more in the future.

A full edition of women's Super Rugby has been mooted, which would see a women's Hurricanes side join the competition, along with a composite team from the Crusaders and Highlanders catchments in the South Island.

"Fingers crossed, get a bit of money behind it," Richards adds. "We want it rolled out in January, and you can probably see the competition happen at the end of February into March with the four franchise teams. 

"Cross your fingers, it'll be great for it to happen."

Despite the challenges of modern-day professionalism for New Zealand's best women players, Blackwell is another hoping that Saturday's encounter is the start of something bigger.

"As a player - and if it's a four-team series, five or six weeks out of work for some people - it could actually be quite difficult.

"We need some resources, we need some investment, we need some people backing it, so we can actually make it feasible for people to take time off work to be able to perform. 

"We don't want to do a half-effort. We still want players to commit and make sure that the rugby we're throwing out on the field is top quality, and we've been given time to be able to do that.