Our referee is Brendon Pickerill. He will be assisted by Paul Williams and James Doleman. The TMO is Ben O’Keeffe.
The Hurricanes will hope that a victory today will enhance their play-off chances after the Highlanders caused the upset of the season with a record margin against the Crusaders yesterday and with that they opened up Super Rugby Aotearoa 2021
Hurricanes: 15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Julian Savea, 13 Billy Proctor, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Salesi Rayasi, 10 Orbyn Leger, 9 Luke Campbell, 8 Ardie Savea (c), 7 Du’Plessis Kirifi, 6 Reed Prinsep, 5 Scott Scrafton, 4 James Blackwell, 3 Tyrel Lomax, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Fraser Armstrong. Replacements: 16 Ricky Riccitelli, 17 Xavier Numia, 18 Tevita Mafileo, 19 Isaia Walker-Leawere, 20 Devan Flanders, 21 Jonathan Taumateine, 22 Peter Umaga-Jensen, 23 Wes Goosen.
Blues: 15 Stephen Perofeta, 14 Mark Telea, 13 Rieko Ioane, 12 TJ Faiane, 11 Caleb Clarke, 10 Otere Black, 9 Sam Nock, 8 Hoskins Sotutu, 7 Dalton Papalii, 6 Tom Robinson (captain), 5 Sam Darry, 4 Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, 3 Ofa Tuungafasi, 2 Luteru Tolai, 1 Karl Tu’inukuafe. Replacements: 16 Leni Apisai, 17 Alex Hodgman, 18 Nepo Laulala, 19 Josh Goodhue, 20 Akira Ioane, 21 Jonathan Ruru, 22 Harry Plummer, 23 AJ Lam.
These teams met on the 27th of February in Wellington when the Blues were victorious by 31-16.
The Blues went down to the Chiefs by 15-12 last week, while the Hurricanes beat the Highlanders 30-19.
The Blues are second on the table behind the Crusaders with the Hurricanes occupying the last spot on the log.
G'Day and welcome to Eden Park for our live coverage of this Super Rugby Aotearoa clash between the Blues and the Hurricanes.
Kick-off! We are underway here in Auckland!
The Blues string five phases together before kicking possession away in a busy opening period for both teams.
The Blues give away the first penalty after a deliberate knock-on at the breakdown. The Hurricanes find touch and the quick ball moves wide before the ball is turned over by Papalii.
The Blues secure another penalty at the breakdown and go for the corner.
The line-out is secured and after the driving maul gets going the Hurricanes manage to turn it over via Scott Scrafton. The Hurricanes request a scrum five metres from their own line.
Jordie Barrett sends it long and we have a Blues feed at the line-out near the halfway line after a 50+ metre kick! The ball is spilled by the Blues for a Hurricanes scrum feed.
YELLOW CARD, HURRICANES, KIRIFI! 0-0: The Hurricanes go to the right and string nine phases together before Barrett sends in a cross-kick which is secured by the Blues. The Hurricanes have a high-tackle penalty and Barrett lines it up from 15 metres out. However the TMO then rules that Kirifi was guilty of foul play before the penalty and it's a massive turn-around here!
Jordie Barrett lines it up again after an offside penalty from 55 metres and this time he misses it to the right! Still no score after 20 minutes.
The Blues eventually secure a penalty after a few scrum resets and they find touch before actually messing up the line-out. That did not help!
PENALTY, HURRICANES, BARRETT! 0-3: Cowley-Tuioti is penalised at the breakdown and this time Jordie Barrett puts it over for a lead with a man still in the bin. Good work!
The Blues are the architects of their own demise at the moment with all these mistakes.
PENALTY TRY, BLUES! 7-3: The Blues now have a penalty near the halfway line and they find a brilliant touch near the corner flag. The set-piece is secured and after the driving maul gets going a penalty try is awarded after a repeated offence. Ardie Savea is sin-binned in the process!
The Hurricanes secure a penalty at the breakdown inside the Blues territory.
PENALTY, HURRICANES, BARRETT! 7-6 : Barrett runs the clock down as they still have a man in the bin and it's a one-point game!
PENALTY, BLUES, BLACK! 10-6: The Blues string nine phases together before securing an offside penalty in a good position. Black makes no mistake and extends the lead.
HALF-TIME: BLUES 10-9 HURRICANES! It has been a scrappy half but the Hurricanes are within reach despite two yellow cards. Savea will be back within a minute!
PENALTY, HURRICANES, BARRETT! 10-9: Jordie Barrett sends us into the break after yet another Blues infringement.
Kick-off! Away we go in the second half!
This is a critical half for both teams. The Blues start well by stealing a Hurricanes line-out ball. We have a injury stoppage.
PENALTY, HURRICANES, BARRETT! 10-12: Jordie Barrett lines it up yet again after the Blues are penalised. He gets the first points of the half with a huge kick!
The Hurricanes make their tackles as the Blues progress towards the 22. The Blues cross the line but it is held up and we have a drop-out from the 22.
TRY, BLUES, FAIANE! 15-12: Great work by Perofeta with a side-step and an offload to send TJ Faiane away as he slides over to SCORE!
CONVERSION, BLUES, BLACK! 17-12: Otere Black adds the extras.
Jordie Barrett is away to the right and into a gap but Ardie Savea just cannot hold onto the offload.
The Hurricanes secure a penalty at the scrum after a few resets. It's a good one as the Blues were looking to push forward. This time the Hurricanes go for touch. The line-out is secured before the Blues turn it over! Great work by the home team.
After a period of up and down kicking Barrett tries to go into a gap. The ball is recycled and Julian Savea is into a big gap but then his brother spills the ball and they cannot take advantage!
The Blues scrum are finding their footing now and they secure another penalty and this time in their own 22.
TRY, BLUES, TELEA! 24-12: Great work after an overthrow at the line-out from the Blues. They go wide to Telea, who uses his pace and forces himself OVER in the corner. Fantastic! The conversion is also good!
The Hurricanes MUST score next to stay in this game!
After a few resets at a scrum in the Blues 22 the Hurricanes come away with it. They come within three metres before Barrett is stopped short. After seven phases the good work comes to an end following a knock-on in the tackle!
Time is now becoming an enemy for the Hurricanes as they continue to make mistakes.
Is this the chance they were looking for? The Hurricanes secure a scrum penalty five metres out and go for the line-out.
TRY, HURRICANES, PRINSEP! 24-17: They secure the set-piece and go over after the maul. Prinsep is credited with the try after four phases! The conversion is way wide! The worse kick of the night for Barrett!
It's nine more phases for the Hurricanes as they progress but then Akira Ioane secure the turn-over for the Blues. Great work!
FULL-TIME: BLUES 27-17 HURRICANES. The Blues secure a scrum penalty in the last minute and Black makes no mistake as he ensures that the Blues return to their winning ways here in front of their home crowd. Thank you for joining us in what was a hard fought grinding game!