RECAP: Blues v Western Force
READERS’ FORUM: Welcome to our live coverage of the Super Rugby Trans-Tasman Round Five encounter between the Blues and Western Force in Auckland.
The Blues are undefeated in their last eight Super Rugby games against the Western Force, last tasting defeat against them in Round Five, 2008 (17-27).
The Blues have won nine of their last 10 Super Rugby games on home turf, including their last four on the bounce; they have conceded just seven second-half points across their last two home games.
The Western Force have lost their last 10 consecutive away games against New Zealand opposition in Super Rugby, a streak twice as long as any other they’ve endured in such fixtures.
* To read our pre-match predictions, CLICK HERE!
* Our live blog will appear below, it might take a little while to load, please be patient. We apologise for the inconvenience!
Blues: 15 Zarn Sullivan, 14 Bryce Heem, 13 Rieko Ioane, 12 TJ Faiane, 11 Mark Telea, 10 Otere Black, 9 Finlay Christie, 8 Hoskins Sotutu, 7 Dalton Papalii, 6 Tom Robinson, 5 Patrick Tuipulotu (captain), 4 Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Kurt Eklund, 1 Alex Hodgman.
Replacements: 16 Ray Niuia, 17 Karl Tu’inukuafe, 18 Marcel Renata, 19 Josh Goodhue, 20 Akira Ioane, 21 Jonathan Ruru, 22 Harry Plummer, 23 AJ Lam.
Western Force: 15 Jake Strachan, 14 Richard Kahui, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Kyle Godwin, 11 Jordan Olowofela, 10 Jake McIntyre, 9 Ian Prior (captain), 8 Ollie Callan, 7 Kane Koteka, 6 Fergus Lee-Warner, 5 Sitaleki Timani, 4 Jeremy Thrush, 3 Santiago Medrano, 2 Feleti Kaitu’u, 1 Tom Robertson.
Replacements: 16 Andrew Ready, 17 Angus Wagner, 18 Greg Holmes, 19 Ryan McCauley, 20 Brynard Stander, 21 Michael McDonald, 22 Domingo Miotti, 23 Rob Kearney.
Referee: Ben O’Keeffe
Assistant referees: Paul Williams, Angus Mabey
TMO: Brendon Pickerill