Blues look to end a dynasty

The Crusaders have never lost a home play off, winning all 29 of them so far, but the Blues are hoping to defy history on Saturday in Christchurch.

Blues coach Leon MacDonald is also looking for final bragging rights over his great mate Scott Robertson before the pair link up to lead the All Blacks.

The two will go head to head as the Crusaders and Blues square off in the Super Rugby semi final.

The Crusaders are unbeaten in Super Rugby play off games at home and MacDonald said his side will need to play close to the perfect game to end the dynasty in Christchurch.

"The challenge of going down there and potentially breaking that record, that's a big carrot and great motivation for us."

MacDonald believes his side is far stronger than the one that lost to the Crusaders in last year's final in Auckland, but he said they need to ensure they don't kick wastefully and that they attack intelligently.

"We can't be frivolous, you saw the Drua go down there and chuck the ball around and struggle, so you've got to play a controlled game but also I think that's probably what we're guilty of those times when it was time to have a crack and we didn't use the ball and just making sure we are picking those right times to have a go."

MacDonald said the rivalry between the two teams is just as strong as when he was a Crusader.

"I know what it's like and nothing has changed."

Reiko Ioane will bring up a significant milestone in Christchurch.

The Blues centre said he didn't believe he would reach 100 caps after some turbulent times at the franchise.

He said it hasn't been an easy road in joining his brother Akira as a Blues centurion.

"There's always going to be ups and downs, just that initial start to my Blues career, I didn't how this team was gonna sort of end up in a couple years and to get where we are now. It's awesome, just to see the growth in not just myself but the team has gone through and we're reaping the benefits."

He said it will be a proud moment for his whānau.

"I'm a proud Aucklander and Blues man so to bring up 100 games for the club will be an awesome achievement."

Hoskins Sotutu will also mark the game as his 50th Super Rugby appearance.

MacDonald also acknowledged his two milestone men. He said both have played pivotal roles for the Blues this season.

"Rieko has been a rock for us at centre all season and I know he's fired up to put in a big performance on Friday night. Hoskins has had a really strong season to-date - his ball playing ability and work around the field make him a threat to any defence he comes up against."

Captain Dalton Papalii said they are drawing inspiration from past sides to have toppled the Crusaders in Chistchurch.

Papalii distinctly recalls seeing Carlos Spencer finish a length of the field Blues try in the corner before slotting the conversion and gesturing to the Christchurch crowd in 2003.

He said the Crusaders have been the measuring stick of success for a number of years.

"The rivalry is still there, that tension is still there and they're pretty good down there. They have built fortress and they've built a reputation but we see it as an opportunity to go down there, they're 29 from 29 but it's an opportunity for us to make history."