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Crusaders hold on to edge out Blues in thrilling NZ Super Rugby derby

Relive 1 NEWS NOW's live coverage of tonight's Super Rugby clash between the Blues and the Crusaders at Eden Park in Auckland.

FULLTIME - BLUES 22 CRUSADERS 24

The Crusaders hold on and edge out the Blues 24-22. Young first-five Harry Plummer had a chance to win the game with two minutes on the clock for the Blues. But he missed his tricky penalty attempt from over 40m out. The defending champs were just too good on defence and attack. 

A brain explosion from Augustine Pulu didn't help the home side, with the reserve halfback opting to go down the blindside himself with just a minute remaining in the match and was dragged into touch by the Crusaders players.

78 mins - BLUES 22 CRUSADERS 24

MISS! Harry Plummer has a chance to get the Blues in front with a 45m penalty kick, but his attempt goes wide of the goal posts.

72 mins - BLUES 22 CRUSADERS 24

TRY! Augustine Pulu powers over to score from close range. Some good lead up runs from his forwards got him in good position to score. Harry Plummer has a chance to level the scores, but he misses his attempt. Crusaders lead 24-22 with five minutes remaining in the match.

66 mins - BLUES 17 CRUSADERS 24

YELLOW CARD! Ben Funnell is sent to the bin after failing to get his hands out of the ruck. The Crusaders were warned several times about their discipline. The Blues opt for a scrum 15m out from the Crusaders' goal-line.

Ma’a Nonu.
Blues v Crusaders, Super Rugby, Eden Park, Auckland, New Zealand. 16 February 2019. Copyright Photo: Jeremy Ward / www.photosport.nz
Blues centre Ma’a Nonu in action against the Crusaders. Source: Photosport

64 mins - BLUES 17 CRUSADERS 24

PENALTY TRY! The Crusaders power their way towards the Blues line and the home team is under real pressure. The scrum collapses and the referee blows his whistle with Crusaders awarded a second penalty try in the match.

The conversion is good from in front of the goal posts.

62 mins - BLUES 17 CRUSADERS 17

PENALTY! The Blues are penalised for a scrum infringement and the Crusaders opt for another scrum 5m out of the Blues' goal line. Blues halfback Johnathan Ruru nailed Mitchell Drummond with a big tackle just before the referee blew his whistle.

54 mins - BLUES 17 CRUSADERS 17

TRY! Manasa Mataele dives over to score for his second try of the match. Bryn Hall threw a perfect short ball for a charging George Bridge who charges into a massive hole. He throws a long pass to Mataele on the right side and he powers over to score.

Richie Mo'unga misses his kick from out wide and the scores are level 17-17.

52 mins - BLUES 17 CRUSADERS 12

TRY! Ofa Tu'ungafasi powers over to score. It begins with Akira Ioane who breaks out of two tackles before being taken down. Ofa gets his hands on the ball and spins out of two tackles before grounding the ball over the try-line.

Harry Plummer slots his kick at goal from easy range.

42 mins - BLUES 10 CRUSADERS 12

TRY! Akira Ioane goes into score under the goal posts! A great way to celebrate his 50th Super Rugby cap. Jordan Taufua spills the ball on the Blues' 40m line and Melani Nanai regathers the ball.

Nanai flicks an offload to Michael Collins who charges up field, he fires an inside pass to Patrick Tuipulotu who finds Akira Ioane lurking on the inside. Akira has 30m to go and Richie Mo'unga is the only defender insight, he attempts to tackle Ioane and he gives him the big don't argue. 

A great start from the home team, Otere Black bangs over the conversion from in front of the sticks.

40 mins - BLUES 3 CRUSADERS 12

And we are back underway for the second half! Richie Mo'unga kicks off deep towards the Blues.

HALFTIME - BLUES 3 CRUSADERS 12

NO TRY! Melani Nanai makes a good break down the right flank and Akira Ioane crashes over the try-line. The referee says the Blues No.8 is held up. Replays show the ref got it right - he blows his whistle to signal the halftime break.

33 mins: BLUES 3 CRUSADERS 12

DEFENCE! The Crusaders have a chance to score off a line-out maul but Dalton Papali'i puts his body on the line and blocks the Crusaders from getting the ball back. The ref blows his whistle and awards a scrum to the Blues. A great defensive effort from the young Blues flanker.

28 mins: BLUES 3 CRUSADERS 12

PENALTY TRY! The Blues have been penalised for a collapsing the maul and the Crusaders have been awarded a penalty try. Tom Robinson has been sent to the bin as well. Richie Mo'unga lands his shot at goal.

24 mins: BLUES 3 CRUSADERS 5

MISS! Richie Mo'unga has a shot at goal from over 40m out on the angle and he shanks it. The scores remain the same 5-3 to the Crusaders.

22 mins: BLUES 3 CRUSADERS 5

MISS! Otere Black has a chance to get his side in front but he misses his penalty shot at goal from out wide.

18 mins: BLUES 3 CRUSADERS 5

TRY! The Crusaders score first! Bryn Hall puts in a cross field kick for Manasa Mataele, Blues fullback Michael Collins bobbles the ball in the in-goal and Mataele pounces on the ball and grounds it.

Ma'a Nonu, Blues training session ahead of the first match of the 2019 Super Rugby season. Blues HQ, Alexandra Park, Auckland. 12 February 2019. Copyright Image: William Booth / www.photosport.nz
Blues midfielder Ma'a Nonu in action during training. Source: Photosport

Richie Mo'unga misses his conversion from out wide.

13 mins: BLUES 3 CRUSADERS 0

THREE! The Crusaders are penalised for an infringement in the ruck and Otere Black makes them pay with a successful penalty kick at goal from over 25m out and in front of the sticks.

10 mins: BLUES 0 CRUSADERS 0

Blues are looking good on both attack and defence. They have a short arm penalty just outside the Crusaders' 22m line.

BLUES 0 CRUSADERS 0

KICK-OFF! And we are underway! Otere Black kick off deep towards the Crusaders.

PREVIEW:

Akira Ioane is set to bring up his 50th Super Rugby game for the Blues and the Auckland side welcome back All Blacks legend Ma'a Nonu - who has been named to start at centre.

In the preseason the Blues won two from two warm-up games with the Crusaders winning one and losing one.

Otere Black has been given the nod to start in the No.10 jersey for the home team, with Leon MacDonald naming Harry Plummer on the bench as cover.

Braydon Enor pairs up with Ryan Crotty in the midfield for the Crusaders as he replaces regular start Josh Goodhue. He will have the tough task of marking Nonu.

The Blues have history against them, who haven't beat the Crusaders at home since February 2014.

Leon MacDonald says the former All Black has been a leader for the young players.
Source: 1 NEWS

TEAMS:

Blues: 1.Alex Hodgman, 2.James Parsons, 3.Sione Mafileo, 4.Patrick Tuipulotu (captain), 5.Josh Goodhue, 6.Tom Robinson, 7.Dalton Papalii, 8.Akira Ioane, 9.Jonathan Ruru, 10.Otere Black, 11.Rieko Ioane, 12.TJ Faiane, 13.Ma'a Nonu, 14.Melani Nanai, 15.Michael Collins.

Reserves: 16.Matt Moulds, 17.Karl Tu'inukuafe, 18.Ofa Tu'ungafasi, 19.Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, 20.Matt Matich, 21.Augustine Pulu, 22.Harry Plummer, 23.Sonny Bill Williams.

Crusaders: 1.Joe Moody, 2.Andrew Makalio, 3.Owen Franks, 4.Scott Barrett, 5.Quinten Strange, 6.Jordan Taufua, 7.Matt Todd (captain), 8.Whetukamokamo Douglas, 9.Bryn Hall, 10.Richie Mo'unga, 11.George Bridge, 12.Ryan Crotty, 13.Braydon Ennor, 14.Manasa Mataele, 15.David Havili.

Reserves: 16.Ben Funnell, 17.Tim Perry, 18.Michael Alaalatoa, 19.Luke Romano, 20.Tom Sanders, 21.Mitchell Drummond, 22.Mitchell
Hunt, 23.Will Jordan.


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