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Join us live at Eden Park at 09:05 SAST for kick off.
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This is an opportunity for the Blues to create some distance between themselves and the chasing pack. After the Brumbies defeat to the Crusaders yesterday, the Blues could go six clear with a win, and seven clear if they get the bonus point victory.
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Referee: Mike Fraser Assistant referees: Angus Mabey, Jono Bredin TMO: Aaron Paterson
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Reds: 15 Jock Campbell, 14 Suliasi Vunivalu, 13 Josh Flook, 12 Hunter Paisami, 11 Jordan Petaia, 10 James O’Connor, 9 Tate McDermott (captain), 8 Seru Uru, 7 Angus Scott-Young, 6 Connor Vest, 5 Angus Blyth, 4 Ryan Smith, 3 Feao Fotuaika, 2 Albert Anae, 1 Dane Zander. Replacements: 16 Matt Faessler, 17 Harry Hoopert, 18 Sef Fa’agase, 19 Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, 20 Tuaina Tualima, 21 Kalani Thomas, 22 Hamish Stewart, 23 Lawson Creighton.
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Blues: 15 Stephen Perofeta, 14 Mark Telea, 13 Rieko Ioane, 12 Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, 11 Caleb Clarke, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Finlay Christie, 8 Hoskins Sotutu, 7 Dalton Papalii (captain), 6 Akira Ioane, 5 Tom Robinson, 4 James Tucker, 3 Ofa Tuungafasi, 2 Kurt Eklund, 1 Alex Hodgman. Replacements: 16 Soane Vikena, 17 Jordan Lay, 18 Nepo Laulala, 19 Luke Romano, 20 Adrian Choat, 21 Sam Nock, 22 Bryce Heem, 23 Zarn Sullivan.
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The return of James O'Connor will give the Reds a proper boost but this is a tough fixture to come back for.
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It will take a magnificent performance for the Reds to get anything from this match at Eden Park if we go on performances over the last few weeks.
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The Reds were neck and neck with the Brumbies in the Aussie conference but they have lost their last three matches, all against New Zealand opposition.
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The Blues only defeat of the season can in the opening week, they have won 10 since and top the table.
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Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the Super Rugby fixture between the Blues and Reds from Eden Park.
1'
KICK OFF! 0-0. The Reds get us underway here at Eden Park.
4'
Blues have the first scrum of the game. It is inside their own 22 but they win the free kick. Easy exit.
6'
Reds go through 11 phases. It starts with a quick tap by McDermott on halfway, but their is a turnover on the Blues 22. They clear upfield.
7'
Reds dropping off far too many tackles. Blues have the penalty, straight in front about 30 meters out. They will kick for goal.
8'
PENALTY! BLUES! PEROFETA! 3-0. Blues have the early lead in Auckland.
10'
Another penalty to the Blues. This time it is on halfway, Barrett finds touch on the 22.
11'
Blues have been really dominant at the ruck in the opening 10 minutes. Reds will need to man-up there.
12'
Sotutu tries an outrages offload and it just can't find a teammate. It goes into touch. Blues looking very dangerous with ball in hand.
13'
So close! Blues kick through but McDermott gets back just in time to save a try. Sotutu then plays the ball on the ground and O'Connor can clear his own line.
14'
TRY! BLUES! HEEM! 8-0. Heem is off the bench to score the games' opening try. He ran a great angle off Tuivas-Sheck and the Reds defence was all at sea.
15'
CONVERSION! PEROFETA! 10-0. Simple conversion for the fullback. Reds need to tighten up or this could get ugly.
18'
TRY! BLUES! CLARKE! 15-0. That is simply brilliant, one of the tries of the season, surely! Blues go wide from their own 22, Tuivasa-Sheck puts his head down and breaks through the Reds defence, he offloads to Tucker who makes another big carry. Quick ball from the ruck ensures an easy finish.
19'
CONVERSION! PEROFETA! 17-0. Another simple conversion to add the extras.
20'
The Reds misinterpreted their own name their as Tuivasa-Sheck parted them like Moses did the Red Sea. They need to sorted their defence out asap.
22'
TRY! REDS! VUNIVALU! 17-5. Reds hit back! Reds got the Blues on the back foot for the first time in the match and Vunivalu finishes from close range.
23'
CONVERSION! O'CONNOR! 17-7. Good conversion by the Aussie 10.
24'
Hopefully that try can re-ignite the Reds challenge in this game. It has been one-way traffic since the opening whistle.
27'
Reds penalty just inside the Blues half. O'Connor will look for touch. Reds have one a number of breakdown penalties over the last few minutes.
29'
Reds go through the phases again but the Blues defence is too good. A counter-ruck sees Telea make meters down the right but his offload inside is knocked on by a visiting hand. Blues scrum outside the visitors 22.
32'
TRY! BLUES! HEEM! 22-7. Heem is in for his brace. Reds sloppy in possession on their own 22. Blues turn over and the space just opens up. Perofeta pops it off to Heem for a score.
33'
Perofeta sends his conversion attempt wide.
34'
Uru, who started the game well, made the loose carry which costs the Reds possession. He seems determined to carry in one hand all the time, primed to make a mistake.
35'
Blues should be in again. Ioane puts a kick through. Barrett looks favourite to get there but O'Connor comes from nowhere to get there and save the try. The ball isn't dead and the Blues counter ruck, it pops out, Christie picks up and dives over but he was on his knees after the slipping. Needed to get onto his feet. Poor from the 9, it was a certain try if he just made a pass.
39'
TRY! REDS! SMITH! 24-12. Reds go through 8 phases but really go nowhere. That is until Vunivalu gets his hands on the ball, the winger breaks a couple of tackles to get within meters of the Blues line. A few phases through route one before Smith scores.
40'
HALF TIME! 22-12. The Blue have been utterly dominant but the Reds have had two chances and scored both. They somehow still in the game and the Blues will be disappointed they don't have at least two tries more. Still game on though, Reds will need to be a lot better in the second half though.
40'
CONVERSION! 22-14. O'Connor converts.
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KICK OFF! 22-14. The hosts get the second half underway.
43'
TRY! BLUES! CLARKE! 27-14. Poor from the Reds. They lose possession from the kick off which results in a penalty. Blues go through a few phases off the lineout before Clarke has a simple finish following a one handed Barrett pass.
44'
Perofeta hits the post from out wide. No conversion and it remains 27-14.
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TRY! BLUES! BARRETT! 32-14. Blues have come out firing and the Reds have no answer. Straight from kick off Christie finds space, he offloads to Heem. Quick ruck ball, a kick through and Barrett has a simple finish. Reds are nowhere to be seen.
47'
Perofeta is well wide with the conversion. His kicking boots has not been on tonight, but it shouldn't cost them the win. Hosts are in bonus point territory now.
50'
What is going on with the Reds defence? Even the Red Sea closed at some point, these guys just stay wide open. Fortunately Clarke is held up over the line but Blues had the advantage and can come again.
52'
Another Blues penalty. Reds at least defended that phase a bit better. This time the hosts opt for a scrum, seven meters from the Reds line. They have a decent blind to attack if they want.
55'
Blues remain camped on the Reds 5m line. Another penalty, how has there been no card yet? Poor officiating.
57'
TRY! BLUES! PEROFETA! 37-14. Well, that was coming. Dominant scrum, another advantage but Blues go wide and Perofeta has all the space in the world to score. Bit of touch rugby that.
58'
CONVERSION! PEROFETA! 39-14. Perofeta converts his own try.
61'
Goal line drop out for the Blues. Eventually the Reds show some fight in the second half, they have spent just about all 20 minutes in their own 22.
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TRY! REDS! CAMPBELL! 39-19. Well worked try, particularly good work by O'Connor to send Campbell over.
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O'Connor hits the upright.
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The Blues have been so dominant is will be a disappointment to them that the Reds have scored three tries. The one thing the visitors have done well is finish off their limited opportunities.
67'
O'Connor clears well from his 22. Blues lineout inside Reds territory.
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TRY! BLUES! VIKKENA! 44-19. Blues are over from the maul.
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CONVERSION! PEROFETA! 46-19. That is over and with 10 minutes to go, so is the game. The bonus point also looks secured.
71'
TRY! REDS! CAMPBELL! 46-24. The Reds have awoken from their slumber. Vunivalu played a crucial role again, drawing three defenders before offloading inside the score.
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CONVERSION! O'CONNOR! 46-26. O'Connor converts from the touchline. Suddenly the bonus point isn't as secure for the Blues.
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Blues penalty inside the Reds 22. Can they score again?
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TRY! BLUES! VIKENA! 51-26. Vikena scores his brace off the bench. Like the first, this came from the back of a maul.
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CONVERSION! PEROFETA! 53-26. Perofeta converts.
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FULL TIME! 53-26. That is it from Eden Park, the hosts are comfortable winners. Plenty points in the game and the Blues will be concerned about conceding four tries, but they were dominant from the first to the last whistle. Reds actually did well to keep it to a 27 point loss.
Blues
Reds
8
Tries
4
14' Heem Bryce
18' Clarke Caleb
32' Heem Bryce
43' Clarke Caleb
45' Barrett Beauden
57' Perofeta Stephen
68' Vikena Soane
77' Vikena Soane
23' Vunivalu Suliasi
40' Smith Ryan
63' Campbell Jock
71' Campbell Jock
5
Conversions
3
15' Perofeta Stephen
19' Perofeta Stephen
58' Perofeta Stephen
70' Perofeta Stephen
78' Perofeta Stephen
23' O'Connor James
40' O'Connor James
73' O'Connor James
1
Penalties
0
7' Perofeta Stephen
0
Drop Goals
0
0
Yellow Cards
0
0
Red Cards
0
15
Squad
15
Hodgman Alex
Eklund Kurt
Tuungafasi Ofa
Tucker James
Robinson Tom
Ioane Akira
Papali'i Dalton
Sotutu Hoskins
Christie Finlay
Barrett Beauden
Clarke Caleb
Tuivasa-Sheck Roger
Ioane Rieko
Telea Mark
Perofeta Stephen
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
Zander Dane
Anae Albert
Fotuaika Feao
Smith Ryan
Blyth Angus
Vest Connor
Scott-Young Angus
Uru Seru
McDermott Tate
O'Connor James
Petaia Jordan
Paisami Hunter
Flook Joshua
Vunivalu Suliasi
Campbell Jock
8
Reserves
8
Laulala Nepo
Heem Bryce
Romano Luke
Lay Jordan
Nock Sam
Choat Adrian
Sullivan Zarn
Vikena Soane
18
22
19
17
21
20
23
16
Fa'agase Sef
Hoopert Harry
Stewart Hamish
Salakaia-Loto Lukhan
Tuaina Tualima
Thomas Kalani
Faessler Matthew
Creighton Lawson