Blues

Highlanders hand Blues another loss

The Highlanders raced out to a 12-nil lead in the opening minutes of the game but the home side pulled the deficit back to 12-11 before the Highlanders edged out to a 20-11 halftime lead.

The second half though was dominated by the Highlanders running in six tries in all with loose forward Shannon Frizell scoring a hatrick.

The Blues have not beaten a fellow New Zealand side since they recorded a 33-31 victory over the Highlanders in the first week of the competition in 2016, a streak of 15 matches - 14 of them losses.

 

     

Chiefs pip Blues in Hamilton

The Chiefs are now undefeated in their last 14 games against the Blues, which is the longest unbeaten streak for any team against another in Super Rugby history, but they were behind for much of the match before securing their hard-fought success.

The Chiefs came from a 14-19 half-time deficit to win when referee Paul Williams awarded a penalty try in the 74th minute as the home scrum powered towards the line against a battling Blues side, down to 14 men.

All Blacks back for Blues

Both missed last week with niggling injuries, although the squad still has 12 players unable to be considered for selection.

Coach Tana Umaga said he is looking for a significant improvement in their team defence and discipline for the repeat game against the Chiefs, after last week's loss to the Sharks.

"We let ourselves down with our team defence. The boys all realise that and have come in this week with a determined attitude. Last year we were developing into a strong team defensive unit and we must get back to that level.

Sharks too good for the Blues

Coming off the bye, the Blues were comprehensively outplayed, with poor tackling and an inability to secure quality ball allowing the Sharks to open out a 26-7 halftime lead.

The Aucklanders hit back in the second spell with three tries in the space of eight minutes but could find no answer to a masterful display from Sharks fly- half Robert du Preez.

The 24-year-old playmaker kicked flawlessly, nailing seven penalties and six conversions as well as scoring a try of his own to total 38 points for the match.

Blues to play at Brookvale Oval

Sanzaar has announced the May 5 match would switch from the regular Allianz Stadium in Sydney to Brookvale Oval, home of the NRL's Manly Sea Eagles.

The Waratahs requested the change due to the possibility Allianz Stadium will host the A-League grand final that day.

The kick-off time has also changed.

Scheduled for a mid-afternoon kickoff, it has moved to 7.45pm.

The changes was carried out in consultation with the Blues.

Blues beaten by sick Stormers

They were chasing consecutive wins in South Africa for the first time in ten years.

Centre EW Viljoen scored two tries for the hosts after overcoming the rigours of long-haul travel and a flu bug that left players and management bed-ridden this week.

The Stormers were back home after three defeats on their tour of Australasia and, despite having limited training opportunities in the week because of the illness gripping the team, they had too much power for the Blues.

Highlanders beat Blues 41-34

The Highlanders trailed 31-24 when Blues replacement flanker Antonio Kiri Kiri was yellow carded by Jamie Nutbrown for a high tackle and the home side seized on the opportunity to take a lead they did not relinquish.

Walden's centre partner Rob Thompson also grabbed two tries, while flyhalf Bryn Gatland, winger Matt Duffie and number eight Akira Ioane (two) replied for the visitors.

Neither team was perfect in their first competitive match of the season as they struggled with the new laws at the breakdown that does not allow defenders to attack the ball.

Blues not getting ahead of themselves after Brisbane win

Umaga's side scored a last-gasp try through George Moala to beat the Hurricanes 10-7 in the final of the Brisbane Global Tens, providing a shiny start to 2018 for the under-performing New Zealand side.

New Zealand's worst-placed team for the last four Super Rugby seasons, the three-time champion Blues are staring at another major challenge to make the play-offs for the first time since 2011.

They've started on the right note, with Umaga pleased at how a young, largely second-string outfit gelled in the heat of Brisbane.

Blues battle back for 10s triumph

Trailing 7-0 for almost the entire match after an early converted try to Hurricanes prop Alex Fidow, the Blues dug deep and got a rich reward.

It was a slow, stodgy clash at Suncorp Stadium, until it came to life when Akira Ioane crashed over in the corner, trimming the margin to two points and giving them the opening they needed.

The winning try came after the siren, with George Moala stretching over on the opposite side to spark wild celebrations among his team, which finished bottom of the New Zealand conference in Super Rugby last year.

Carlos Spencer primed for Blues reunion at Brisbane Tens

Except, he's really not.

"He's got all the gear on and I mistook him for one of my players today because he looks in good condition, he's testing well," coach Tana Umaga said, having watched him complete a "bronco" shuttle-run exercise the day before.

Legendary first-five Spencer - now aged 42 - guided the Aucklanders to their last Super Rugby triumph in 2003 before departing the franchise in 2005.

Arguably, they still haven't replaced him in the No.10 jumper.