Blues v Crusaders
Friday 14 February, 7.05pm at Eden Park, Auckland
Referee: Paul Williams
Won: Blues 11, Crusaders 23
Last match: Blues 11, Crusaders 19 (25 May 2019)
Although the Blues have lost their last 10 matches to the Crusaders, this could be their best shot at a win for a long time. The Blues tight first round loss to the Chiefs now looks better considering the Chiefs dusting of the Crusaders in round two. The Blues had a real pep in their step with a 32-12 win over the Waratahs last week in Newcastle and will be desperate to repay their faithful fans at Eden Park on Friday night.
All Blacks first-five Richie Mo’unga will start for the Crusaders when they take on the Blues in their Super Rugby derby at Eden Park in Auckland on Friday.
Mo’unga missed the 10-time champions’ defeat to the Chiefs in Hamilton last week due to injury but comes in at fly-half in place of David Havili, who shifts to full-back.
In the loose forwards, an injury to Whetukamokamo Douglas means Tom Sanders will shift to number eight, and Cullen Grace earns his first Crusaders start on the blindside.
Grace’s promotion to the starting side means Sione Havili comes in to the match-day squad for the first time in 2020, and will make his debut appearance for the Crusaders if called on in the reserves. The 22-year-old already has one Super Rugby cap to his name and, ironically, it was for the Blues against the Rebels back in 2018.
Bryn Hall also joins the starting team for this game which means Mitch Drummond moves to the bench along with Will Jordan, who started at full-back against the Chiefs.
Average score: Blues 21 Crusaders 26
Last five results
Sat, 25 May 2019 Blues v Crusaders 11-19 Christchurch
Sat, 16 Feb 2019 Blues v Crusaders 22-24 Auckland
Sat, 14 Jul 2018 Blues v Crusaders 17-54 Christchurch
Sat, 19 May 2018 Blues v Crusaders 24-32 Auckland
Fri, 17 Mar 2017 Blues v Crusaders 24-33 Christchurch
Blues overall record against the Crusaders
Played 34 , Wins 11, Losses 23 , Draws 0
Blues: 15 Matt Duffie, 14 Jordan Hyland, 13 Joe Marchant, 12 TJ Faiane, 11 Mark Telea, 10 Stephen Perofeta, 9 Jonathan Ruru, 8 Hoskins Sotutu, 7 Blake Gibson, 6 Dalton Papali’i, 5 Josh Goodhue, 4 Patrick Tuipulotu (c), 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 (c), 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
Date: Friday, February 14
Venue: Eden Park, Auckland
Kick-off: 19:05 local (06:05 GMT)
Referee: Paul Williams (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand), Angus Mabey (New Zealand)
TMO: Shane McDermott (New Zealand)
WEEK THREE Matches
|14 February||Blues v Crusaders||Auckland||7:05 PM|
|14 February||Rebels v Waratahs||Melbourne||9:15 PM|
|15 February||Sunwolves v Chiefs||Tokyo||4:45 PM|
|15 February||Hurricanes v Sharks||Wellington||7:05 PM|
|15 February||Brumbies v Highlanders||Canberra||9:15 PM|
|16 February||Lions v Stormers||Johannesburg||2:05 AM|
|16 February||Jaguares v Reds||Buenos Aires||10:40 AM|