Mealamu marches on for Blues

Thu, 03 Jul 2014 07:52
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Keven Mealamu will become the first player to reach the remarkable milestone of 150 games for the Blues when he runs out to face the Crusaders in Christchurch on Saturday.

Keven Mealamu will become the first player to reach the remarkable milestone of 150 games for the Blues when he runs out to face the Crusaders in Christchurch on Saturday.
 
The talismanic hooker has already racked up 160 Super Rugby appearances including his season with the Chiefs in 2000, but will play his 150th game for the Blues against the 'Saders.
 
The All Blacks centurion is only two matches away from equalling the record held by Nathan Sharpe for the most Super Rugby appearances (162), and is second only to Colin Meads in first class games after playing his 350th match against the Western Force on Saturday.
 
“He’s such an important part of the team,” Blues head coach Sir John Kirwan said.
 
“He’s our matai [an evergreen tree from New Zealand - the mainstay of the team] and what we stand for. He’s been around for 150 games but I think he’ll leave a huge legacy when he does decide to move on.
 
"It’s a special moment for him and his family – 150 games for one franchise is incredible and hopefully we can help him celebrate that with a win.”
 
In the only change to the starting XV, Charles Piutau returns from injury to start on the left wing in place of George Moala.
 
Given Piutau’s class, Kirwan said it was an easy decision to inject him straight into the run-on side.
 
“He’s good enough, he’s been injured but he’s back fit and he’s done all his contact and return to play stuff.
 
"He’s an All Black and an important member of our team and we just want to get him out there.
 
“We’ve decided to put him on the left wing with the least pressure on him for the high ball catch.
 
"He probably won’t last the whole game and George Moala’s been playing really well so it’s just a matter of sharing that up and he’s ready to go so it’s exciting.”
 
Scrumhalf Piri Weepu has been ruled out of Saturday's match after a scan yesterday revealed a screw in the ankle he broke in 2010 has become loose.
 
The Blues have not beaten the Crusaders in Christchurch since 2004 and must secure a win if they are to have any chance of making the playoffs.
 
Blues: 15 Lolagi Visinia, 14 Frank Halai, 13 Pita Ahki, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Charles Piutau, 10 Ihaia West, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Jerome Kaino, 7 Luke Braid (captain), 6 Steven Luatua, 5 Tom Donnelly, 4 Patrick Tuipulotu, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 Keven Mealamu, 1 Tony Woodcock.
Replacements: 16 James Parsons, 17 Ofa Tu'ungafasi, 18 Sam Prattley, 19 Hayden Triggs, 20 Peter Saili, 21 Jamison Gibson-Park, 22 Francis Saili, 23 George Moala.
 
Date: Saturday, July 5
Venue: AMI Stadium, Christchurch
Kick-off: 19.35; (07.35 GMT)
Referee: Glen Jackson (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Garratt Williamson (New Zealand), Mike Lash (New Zealand)
TMO: Vinny Munro (New Zealand)
There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 27 April 2018
Hurricanes v Sunwolves 07h35 Wellington
Stormers v Rebels 13h00 Newlands
Leicester Tigers v Newcastle Falcons 18h45 Welford Road
Sat, 28 April 2018
Reds v Lions 05h05 Suncorp Stadium
Blues v Jaguares 07h35 Eden Park
Brumbies v Crusaders 09h45 Canberra
Kings v Cheetahs 13h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Exeter Chiefs v Sale Sharks 14h00 Sandy Park
Worcester Warriors v Harlequins 14h00 Sixways
Gloucester v Bath 14h00 Kingsholm
Connacht v Leinster 14h05 Sportsground
Dragons v Scarlets 14h05 Rodney Parade
Bulls v Highlanders 15h15 Loftus Versfeld
Treviso v Zebre 16h00 Stadio Monigo
Cardiff Blues v Ospreys 16h35 Cardiff Arms Park
Munster v Ulster 16h35 Thomond Park
Edinburgh v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 Myreside
Sun, 29 April 2018
London Irish v Saracens 14h00 Madejski Stadium
Wasps v Northampton Saints 14h00 Ricoh Arena
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 22 April 2018
Racing Metro v Munster 27 | 22
Brumbies v Jaguares 20 | 25
Sat, 21 April 2018
Ulster v Glasgow Warriors 36 | 15
Zebre v Ospreys 37 | 14
Sharks v Stormers 24 | 17
Leinster v Scarlets 38 | 16
Bulls v Rebels 28 | 10
Reds v Chiefs 12 | 36
Crusaders v Sunwolves 33 | 11
Fri, 20 April 2018
Waratahs v Lions 0 | 29
Blues v Highlanders 16 | 34
Sun, 15 April 2018
Saracens v Bath 41 | 6
London Irish v Exeter Chiefs 5 | 45
Sat, 14 April 2018
Leinster v Treviso 15 | 17
Kings v Cardiff Blues 12 | 45
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Waratahs 8 5 1 2 24
Rebels 87 4 0 4 21
Brumbies 8 3 0 5 15
Reds 8 3 0 5 13
Sunwolves 8 0 0 8 2
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 8 6 0 2 29
Hurricanes 7 6 0 1 27
Chiefs 8 6 0 2 26
Highlanders 7 5 0 2 24
Blues 8 2 0 6 12
Pool SA
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 9 6 0 3 30
Bulls 8 4 0 4 19
Sharks 9 3 1 5 18
Jaguares 9 4 0 5 16
Stormers 9 3 0 6 14