Live updates: Super Rugby Pacific - Blues v Queensland Reds at Auckland's Eden Park

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Blues 53 Reds 26

Blues - Heem 2, Barrett, Vikena 2, Perofeta & Clarke 2 tries, Perofeta penalty & 5 conversions

Reds - Vunivalu, Campbell 2 & Smith tries, O'Connor 3 conversions

Second half

40th minute - Creighton finds touch inside the Blues 22 and Reds win the lineout. They swarm towards the line, as the fulltime siren sounds, but they knock on to end the game.

Blues have now won 11 straight and have a seven-point advantage atop the Super Rugby Pacific table.

38th minute - Reds recover the ball from the kickoff and try to launch an attack in Blues half. They have penalty advantage...

36th minute - TRY to Vikena

Barrett kicks to the corner and Tucker wins the lineout. The maul surges forward, with Vikena at the back to fall over the line for his second.

Perofeta slots the conversion, BLU 53-26

35th minute - Romano wins the lineout, but the Blues maul is held up. They inch forward, but Reds collapse the maul for a penalty.

34th minute - Blues win a scrum penalty and Barrett kicks to the corner.

33rd minute - Reds spill the ball from the kickoff and Blues have a scrum inside their 22.

31st minute - TRY to Campbell

Big Reds scrum wins a penalty advantage, but Flook storms into the 22 and Vunivalu offloads to Campbell for a simple second try. O'Connor slots the conversion, BLU 46-26

30th minute - Robinson claims the kickoff, but Reds hold him up for a scrum inside the Blues half.

28th minute - TRY to Vikena

Vikena finds Tucker with a long throw to the lineout and then joins at the back, as they maul across to score. Perofeta slots the angled conversion, BLU 46-19

27th minute - Reds are trapped in their 22 and O'Connor clears to the Reds 10. Fraser has reviewed a tackle and penalises Reds for a lifting tackle inside the 22.

Barrett kicks to the corner...

26th minute - Barrett finds touch near the corner, but Vikena's throw is too long and Reds recover the knock-on.

25th minute - Papalii chases the kickoff and regains it for the Blues, who have a penalty advantage. Robinson charges into the 22, but Nock can't hold the inside pass and Fraser brings them back for the penalty.

23rd minute - TRY to Campbell

From a goal-line ruck, O'Connor shifts left and puts his fullback across to score. O'Connor's conversion hits the left upright and bounces away, BLU 39-19

22nd minute - Reds continue to play and lose penalty advantage, but they're only metres short. They have another advantage.

21st minute - Vunivalu challenges down the right, but Reds turn the ball over and Blues pour onto attack. Barrett can't handle the ball and Reds are back on attack.

RTS penalised for a high tackle.

20th minute - Reds win their scrum and rumble towards the goal-line. O'Connor kicks ahead for Petaia to chase, but Blues force for a goal-line dropout.

19th minute - Telea drops the kickoff and Reds will have a scrum near the Blues 22.

17th minute - TRY to Perofeta

Another scrum penalty advantage to Blues, but they shift left, RTS and Heem run decoys, and Perofeta slides across to score. Perofeta converts and becomes the leading scorer in the competition, BLU 39-14

15th minute - Blues have penalty advantage at the scrum and Fraser brings them back for another scrum.

14th minute - From the scrum, Sotutu finds Heem charging towards the line, but he's stopped. Reds steal the ball, but knock on for another Blues scrum, five metres out.

13th minute - Blues call for a scrum near the posts.

12th minute - Tucker wins the lineout, Blues have penalty advantage and the move breaks down, so Fraser brings them back.

11th minute - From the scrum, Vunivalu clears from his own goal-line, but it doesn't reach the 22.

10th minute - Barrett finds touch near the corner, but Eklund's lineout throw isn't straight.

Ninth minute - Blues win the lineout and Blues have an offside penalty. Clarke busts through the defence and is brought down metres short.

Fraser brings them back for the penalty.

Eighth minute - Barrett finds touch inside the 22. McDermott argues Perofeta took him out in midair, but Fraser plays the first penalty.

Seventh minute - Blues control the lineout and break out of their 22, with Ioane making ground towards halfway. They have penalty advantage... 

Fifth minute - TRY to Barrett

Tucker claims the kickoff and the Blues maul towards halfway, winning a penal;ty advantage. Barrett breaks over halfway and Heem reaches the 22.

Perofeta kicks ahead and Barrett wins the chase to score. Perofeta leaves his conversion right of the posts, BLU 32-14

Second minute - TRY to Clarke

Barrett finds touch inside the 22. Sotutu wins the lineout and Ioane charges towards the line.

Blues rumble towards the posts, Heem lunges at the line, Blues under advantage, but Barrett offloads to Clarke for his second. Perofeta bounces his conversion off the left upright and away, BLU 27-14

First minute - Perofeta shapes to kick off, but hands the ball to Barrett, who kicks in the other direction, catching the Reds off balance.

Blues have penalty advantage and Papalii charges into the 22.


39th minute - TRY to Smith

Vunivalu beats tacklers down the right touchline and finally brought down near the tryline. Reds pour onto attack and the giant lock plunges over from a ruck.

O'Connor converts, as the halftime siren sounds, BLU 22-14

38th minute - Reds building an attacking on the 22...

37th minute - O'Connor finds touch near the 22.

36th minute - O'Connor's touchfinder is almost kept in play by Perofeta near halfway. Reds win the lineout and build phases into the Blues half, with penalty advantage.

35th minute - Down the left, Barrett finds Ioane on the sideline and he puts a kick ahead with Barrett chasing. He's just beaten to the ball on the tryline and after a scramble, the Reds win a clearing penalty.

Christie tried to play the ball again in a tackle, but did not regain his feet in the process.

34th minute - Telea secures the kickoff and bumps off the first tackler. Heem throws a long pass to Clarke and the Blues reach halfway.

32nd minute - TRY to Heem

Reds win the lineout, but lose the ball in a tackle. Blues shift right, Perofeta finds the gap in midfield and draws the last defenders, before passing to Heem for a double.

Perofeta's conversion drifts left, BLU 22-7

31st minute - Off the scrum, Telea runs powerfully and Heems floats a pass to Clarke - it looks well forward, but ruled backwards out of the hands. It bounces into touch, so the ball never lies.

30th minute - Paisame has left the field for the Reds. Christie will feed a scrum near the Reds 22.

29th minute - Blues steal the ball on halfway and Telea dashes down the right touchline. He throws infield and Akira Ioane grabs the loose ball, but there are a couple of knock-ons for a Blues scrum.

28th minute - Reds win the lineout and shift right, but Blues defence holds. O'Connor stabs a kick through and Perofeta clears into Reds half.

27th minute - O'Connor kicks to the Blues 22 and Fraser warns the Blues over their infringements.

26th minute - Reds kick to halfway and win a lineout. They're starting to find some momentum and win a penalty at the breakdown.

25th minute - Reds win the scrum, but loose the ball in a tackle. Fraser is playing advantage from a scrum penalty.

24th minute - Blues chase their kickoff and almost recover it, but knock on.

22nd minute - TRY to Vunivalu

Reds win the lineout and peel towards the tryline. Reds shift left and McDermott finds Vunivalu running an inside angle to reach out and score.

O'Connor converts, BLU 17-7

21st minute - Reds win a penalty at the breakdown on their own side of halfway. O'Connor finds touch inside the Blues 22.

20th minute - Blues control the kickoff and Barrett kicks upfield, where O'Connor runs into the chasers.

18th minute - TRY to Clarke

Tucker storms into the Reds 22 and is brought down metres short. Heem slips, but Clarke is next on the scene to score.

Perofeta converts, BLU 17-0

17th minute - Reds throw long to the lineout and lose the ball at the breakdown. Blues try to break out of their 22, with RTS making huge metres upfield.

16th minute - Blues secure the kickoff and RTS runs it back. Christie clears and Blues chase quickly.

Reds win a penalty and O'Connor finds touch near the Blues 22.

14th minute - TRY to Heem

Terrible throw to the Reds lineout and Blues pounce on the loose ball. When the ball shifts left, Heem finds a huge gap in midfield to score under the posts. 

Perofeta converts, BLU 10-0

13th minute - Rieko Ioane is suffering a twinged hamstring.

12th minute - McDermott's clearing kick is charged down by Robinson, but he retreats quickly to smother the ball near the tryline and Sotutu is penalised for playing the ball on the ground.

11th minute - Akira Ioane wins the lineout, but his pass off the top goes astray. Blues shift left, where RTS tests the defence.

When the ball comes right, Sotutu's pass goes into touch. Rieko Ioane has been replaced by Bryce Heem.

10th minute - Paisami is held up in the maul and Telea rips the ball away. Blues win a penalty on halfway and Barrett kicks into the 22.

Ninth minute - Christie's clearing kick finds touch on the full from outside the 22, so Reds have an attacking lineout.

Eighth minute - Perofeta slots the penalty to take the early lead, BLU 3-0

Seventh minute - Barging run from Sotutu, but Fraser brings them back for the penalty about 30 metres out and in front of the posts. Perofeta lines up a kick at goal.

Sixth minute - Reds building outside the Blues 22, Vunivalu tries to offload, but Akira Ioane falls on the loose ball and the ball is hacked upfield. Blues stream onto attack and have penalty advantage.

Fifth minute - Reds take a quick throw and win a penalty. They charge into Blues half and string some phases together.

Fourth minute - Blues win a free-kick from the scrum, Barrett taps and finds touch inside Reds half.

Third minute - Reds throw to the lineout isn't straight, so Blues have a chance to clear from a scrum.

Second minute - McDermott kicks high and Perofeta claims it. Reds win a penalty at the breakdown and they kick to the corner.

First minute - Mike Fraser will referee this contest, with O'Connor kicking off the Reds. Christie clears towards halfway for the Blues.

Reds win a lineout, but their service of the backline is loose.


Kia ora, good evening and welcome to Newshub's live coverage of the Super Rugby Pacific clash between the Blues and Queensland Reds at Auckland's Eden Park.

The competition leaders are on a roll, with 10 straight wins, since their season-opening last-gasp loss to the Hurricanes.

After a couple of scratchy performances across the ditch against Fijian Drua and Western Force, the Blues returned home and flexed their muscles with a big win against Melbourne Rebels last week. 

Realistically, those were the three lowest-ranked Aussie-based sides and they must now front up to the best three, starting with a Reds outfit that lost to the Highlanders last week.

Queensland will be bolstered by the return of James O'Connor at first-five and will be desperate for their first win against an NZ side to halt their slide down the table.

Blues: 1-Alex Hodgman, 2-Kurt Eklund, 3-Ofa Tuungafasi, 4-James Tucker, 5-Tom Robinson, 6-Akira Ioane, 7-Dalton Papalii (c), 8-Hoskins Sotutu, 9-Finlay Christie, 10-Beauden Barrett, 11-Caleb Clarke, 12-Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, 13-Rieko Ioane, 14-Mark Telea, 15-Stephen Perofeta

Reserves: 16-Soane Vikena, 17-Jordan Lay, 18-Nepo Laulala, 19-Luke Romano, 20-Adrian Choat, 21-Sam Nock, 22-Bryce Heem, 23. Zarn Sullivan 

Reds: 1-Dane Zander, 2-Albert Anae, 3-Feao Fotuaika, 4-Ryan Smith, 5-Angus Blyth, 6-Connor Vest, 7-Angus Scott-Young, 8-Seru Uru, 9-Tate McDermott, 10-James O’Connor, 11-Jordan Petaia, 12-Hunter Paisami, 13-Josh Flook, 14-Suliasi Vunivalu, 15-Jock Campbell

Reserves: 16-Matt Faessler, 17-Harry Hoopert, 18-Sef Fa’agase, 19-Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, 20-Tuaina Taii Tualima, 21-Kalani Thomas, 22-Hamish Stewart, 23-Lawson Creighton


Blues understudy Perofeta ready to take next step in Beauden Barrett's shoes

By Alex Chapman

Stephen Perofeta has been keeping Beauden Barrett's seat warm at the Blues, but the All Blacks first-five himself feels his understudy is ready to take the next step.

Concussion, COVID-19 and All Blacks rest weeks have seen Perofeta regularly step into Barrett's No.10 jersey throughout the Super Rugby Pacific, but Barrett firmly believes his fellow Taranaki player has shown he can foot it on the international stage. 

Disruptions have become the norm for Barrett this season.

"It's just been great playing footy for the Blues," he said. "The boys are going really well and I'm enjoying it."

Head knocks are, seemingly, in the rearview mirror.

"Gosh, it's that far behind me, honestly," he said. "The fact you mentioned it... that was ages ago." 

Regardless of the reason for Barrett's absence, Perofeta - 2021 NPC Player of the Year - has put his hand up to start at first-five. The 25-year-old has comfortably helped guide a Blues team two points clear at the top of the table, so is he a chance for the All Blacks?

"Absolutely,  he's certainly got it in him," insisted Barrett. "From what I've seen and his development in the last 12 months, he's certainly one of the best players in the comp at the moment."

Stephen Perofeta & Beauden Barrett
Stephen Perofeta & Beauden Barrett. Photo credit: Photosport

You'd think having Barrett as your teammate, Perofeta may have picked up a piece of advice or two, but the elder statesman is less sure how much he's actually helped.

"You'd have to ask him if he's learnt anything from me, but he's certainly asked questions," said Barrett.

Playing for the same NPC team helps that relationship.

"He's a Whanganui boy, I'm a 'Naki boy. We both play for the 'Naki so, yeah, we get on really well."

The amber-and-gold may soon have another All Black to boast about.