RECAP: BLUES v CRUSADERS
READERS’ FORUM: Welcome to our coverage of the Super Rugby Round Three encounter between the Blues and Crusaders in Auckland.
It is New Zealand’s ultimate north-south clash, the traditional BIG one.
Between them, they have won 13 of the 24 titles on offer in the professional era, the first two going to the Blues (1996 and 1997) – although the men from Auckland have not been in the play-offs for almost a decade.
Their third and last title was won in 2003.
The Crusaders won the competition the last three years, to take their total to 10 – the only team with more than three titles.
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Blues: 15 Matt Duffie, 14 Jordan Hyland, 13 Joe Marchant, 12 Thomas Faiane, 11 Mark Telea, 10 Stephen Perofeta, 9 Jonathan Ruru, 8 Hoskins Sotutu, 7 Blake Gibson, 6 Dalton Papalii, 5 Josh Goodhue, 4 Patrick Tuipulotu (captain), 3 Ofa Tuungafasi, 2 James Parsons, 1 Karl Tu’inukuafe.
Replacements: 16 Kurt Eklund, 17 Ezekiel Lindenmuth, 18 Sione Mafileo, 19 Tom Robinson, 20 Tony Lamborn, 21 Sam Nock, 22 Harry Plummer, 23 Emoni Narawa.
Crusaders: 15 David Havili, 14 Sevu Reece, 13 Braydon Ennor, 12 Jack Goodhue, 11 George Bridge, 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Tom Sanders, 7 Tom Christie, 6 Cullen Grace, 5 Mitchell Dunshea, 4 Scott Barrett (captain), 3 Oliver Jager, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Joe Moody.
Replacements: 16 Andrew Makalio, 17 George Bower, 18 Michael Alaalatoa, 19 Luke Romano, 20 Sione Havili, 21 Mitchell Drummond, 22 Brett Cameron, 23 Will Jordan.
Referee: Paul Williams (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand), Angus Mabey (New Zealand)
TMO: Shane McDermott (New Zealand)