As it happened: Crusaders pile on the points in second half to put final nail in Blues' coffin

Relive 1 NEWS NOW's live updates of tonight's Super Rugby contest between the Crusaders and the Blues at AMI Stadium in Christchurch.

FT: CRU 54-17 BLU

CRU TRY! That does it and a tough night for the Blues is finished with a try by former Blues halfback Bryn Hall. Rough end to the season for the Blues after showing signs of a fight in this second half. But like most of this season, they failed to fire in the key moments and it's cost them big time on the scoreboard. That'll do it for us tonight. Enjoy your weekend.

78min: CRU 47-17 BLU

CRU TRY! Another big run by Samu sets up the Crusaders again. But this time it's not a razzle-dazzle back getting it done. It's Whitelock charging through, powering his legs from 15m out to break a tackle and reach out and score. 

74min: CRU 40-17 BLU

CRU TRY! Would you know it, the Crusaders have scored at the other end. After reaching halfway through a break by Samu, They fling it left to Goodhue and he breaks a tackle to get into the Blues' backfield with 35m to go. Draws in Gatland and fires it to an unmarked Bridge on the left wing. Bridge strolls in 20m to score. Crusaders rugby at its finest.

71min: CRU 33-17 BLU

Blues look destined to score after Nock makes a linebreak through the middle of the field. He has Dagg to beat but flings it to Nanai instead. Nanai has 20m to go for the corner but out of nowhere, Bridge swoops in to cut him short. Nanai pops it up to Nock and Nock tries for the corner himself but Bridge has gotten up and stopped him too, taking him into touch. What amazing defence. Blues will be wondering what they have to do at this point.

70min: CRU 33-17 BLU

Blues keep the ball in hand and earn a penalty for their work. Crusaders will want to look at that area after tonight - a lot of penalties against them. This time, it's cost them a lineout on halfway.

68min: CRU 33-17 BLU

Blues under all sorts of pressure here after the Crusaders earn a turnover and use it to kick for territory. Dagg grubbers one through and finds touch on the Blues' 5m.

66min: CRU 33-17 BLU

CRU TRY! Setpiece perfection. Crusaders work a backline play off the lineout and Tamanivalu gets into space in the midfield as he bumps off Rieko Ioane. He finds support with Israel Dagg and Dagg moves it on to Bridge who scores.

63min: CRU 26-17 BLU

Blues throuw their attacking chance away as they knock the ball on and dive on it illegally. Penalty to the Crusaders and they kick for touch themselves. Crusaders lineout 40m from the line.

62min: CRU 26-17 BLU

Ioane causes trouble for the Crusaders again in the ruck and earns the Blues a penalty as Goodhue doesn't release the ball. Blues kick for touch and it's a lineout just inside the Crusaders' half.

60min: CRU 26-17 BLU

The teams opt into a game of forceback for territory with kicks and the Crusaders appear to be the winners. Gatland gets pinned in his 22m so he thumps for touch. Crusaders lineout just inside the Blues' half.

58min: CRU 26-17 BLU

Crusaders looking just a little bit flustered here. They work the ball on halfway but after eight phases have gone nowhere. They opt to go wide and Goodhue is the target but he's dropped it cold. Blues scrum 10m inside their half.

56min: CRU 26-17 BLU

BLU TRY! Gatland fires a beauty to Perofeta. Who gets outside Goodhue and has Nanai on the left wing. He flings it out to him and Nanai has 10m to finish it. He dives in with an acrobatic finish to get the job done. Blues showing some fight.

54min: CRU 26-12 BLU

Blues forwards get it done again. Crusaders had a scrum on halfway and it fell to bits stopping any chance of a setpiece. They try to recover at the back but Akira Ioane is in there causing chaos and it's a penalty for not releasing. Blues kick for touch and get a lineout 10m out. If they score here, we could be in for an interesting finish.

52min: CRU 26-12 BLU

BLU TRY! The Crusaders scrum buckles and it's a penalty try for the Blues! Rare sight that, Crusaders forward pack buckling to that extent. Finally, the Blues convert in the 22m.

49min: CRU 26-5 BLU

12 phases and nothing from it. Crusaders go for a turnover at the ruck on their line but knock it on in the process. Scrum on the Crusaders 5m to come. How long can they hold the Blues out?

47min: CRU 26-5 BLU

Blues have a chance to respond after the Crusaders are penalised off the kickoff for not releasing. Too far behind now to go for three so the kick for the corner is the option. Lineout 5m out to come.

45min: CRU 26-5 BLU

CRU TRY! Too easy. Crusaders look to maul, see it isn't an option and fire it to the middle. Goodhue steps inside his man and goes under the posts for his second of the night.

42min: CRU 19-5 BLU

A cross kick to the left wing puts the Crusaders in space and down into the Blues' 22m. They go for another cross kick to the right wing but it bounces and the Blues recover. Not for long though as Nanai gets bundled into touch. Crusaders lineout 5m out.

40min: CRU 19-5 BLU

Gatland gets us back underway.

HT: CRU 19-5 BLU

First half in the books and the Crusaders are putting on a masterclass. Defence is bringing Blues to a grinding halt and they're using their limited chances to convert big time at the other end. It's going to take something special to send Kaino out a winner from here. We'll be back soon with the second half.

40min: CRU 19-5 BLU

CRU TRY! The Crusaders finish the half in style. Drummond runs off the back of the ruck and a step back to his left puts into the Blues' backfield in their 22m. He's one on one with Gatland, gets tackled but offloads to Tamanivalu who dives in under the posts. 

37min: CRU 12-5 BLU

The ball comes off the top and Pulu fires it to the midfield but there's a knock on. To make matters worse, two phases later the Blues are penalised for being offside. Once again, they fail to convert in the Crusaders' 22m. Crusaders kick for touch and find a lineout on halfway.

36min: CRU 12-5 BLU

Perofeta gets outside his defender to run into the Crusaders' half. He's brought down but the Blues recycle it quickly. getting it back to the midfield. They look for the left wing with a cross kick but it sails out on the full. Ref comes back for advantage for offside. Blues use it to kick for touch and it's a Blues lineout 10m from the Crusaders' line.

34min: CRU 12-5 BLU

Crusaders work the ball back into the Blues' half but again they're handling lets them down. There's a knock on on the right wing and it gives the Blues a scrum just inside their own half.

32min: CRU 12-5 BLU

BLU TRY! The Blues finally get on the scoreboard but would you believe it, it was from an interception. Not their own ball. Nanai snipes a pass by Dagg on the left wing and streaks from halfway to score in the left corner. Dagg's pass wasn't bad. Just well read by Nanai.

29min: CRU 12-0 BLU

Once again, the Blues are denied as the Crusaders get a turnover close to their line. They look to run it out but that gets stopped on halfway after Todd can't pull in a wide pass. Blues scrum on halfway but you've got to credited the Crusaders' defence tonight so far. The Blues have had a lot of ball and territory but can't get anything with it.

26min: CRU 12-0 BLU

Blues have another attacking chance after the Crusaders are penalised for a head high tackle on Perofeta. The kick gets them a lineout 10m from the line.

24min: CRU 12-0 BLU

CRU TRY! Crisp, flat passes puts Bridge in space on the left wing with 5m to go and he's in. Jeez that'll hurt the Blues. 21 phases and they couldn't muster any points. The Crusaders come away with seven points on a third of that possession.

21min: CRU 5-0 BLU

Blues get down into the Crusaders' 22m thanks to a great run by Duffie down the right wing. Blues try to muscle up from there and after 15 phases their 5m short. After 21 phases the Blues try to go wide but Sam Whitelock intercepts it. He finds support and Crotty kicks it ahead. Blues recover it but the Crusaders are all over the ball and force a knock on. Crusaders scrum on the Blues' 22m.

17min: CRU 5-0 BLU

Some strong defence from the Blues stops the Crusaders dead in their tracks and it leads to a penalty for not releasing the ball. Crusaders had eight phases there but ended up going backwards. Blues take the penalty and kick for touch. Their lineout is 35m from the Crusaders' line.

14min: CRU 5-0 BLU

A couple of scrum resets leads to a penalty for the Crusaders as the Blues collapse. Crusaders kick for touch and get a lineout on the Blues' 22m.

12min: CRU 5-0 BLU

The Blues can't make any indents and they're penalised for not releasing. Big chance goes begging. However Mo'unga's kick doesn't find touch so the Blues bring it back to halfway. They shift the ball to the right and Nanai gets hit by Bridge and loses the ball in the process. No advantage, Crusaders scrum on halfway.

9min: CRU 5-0 BLU

Blues with an attacking chance after they earn a penalty for offside. They turn down the three on offer and kick for touch. Lineout 10m from the Crusaders line coming up.

7min: CRU 5-0 BLU

Blues build pressure on halfway for seven phases before trying for space on the left. However Tamanivalu attempts an intercept and knocks it on to stop it. No advantage, Blues scrum on halfway.

5min: CRU 5-0 BLU

CRU TRY! Quick hands by the Crusaders lets Crotty put Goodhue in space and he's too close to the line to stop. Dives over to score early in this game. Not the start the Blues wanted.

3min: CRU 0-0 BLU

Worrying signs early for the Blues as Tamanivalu busts through 3 tackles on the right wing as the Crusaders go from their 22m to the Blues'. He gets it back infield to Goodhue he links up with Taufua. Taufua is broght down 5m short. The Crusaders try to recycle quick to the left but it's loose. Ref comes back for offside advantage and it's a Crusaders scrum 5m from the Blues line.


We're off in Christchurch via Mo'unga's boot.

Jordan Taufua against the Blues
Jordan Taufua against the Blues Source: Photosport


The Blues want to farewell Jerome Kaino with an upset Super Rugby win when the curtain comes down on their forgettable Super Rugby campaign.

Coach Tana Umaga's men will try to end an 18-match winless run against Kiwi opponents when they face the defending champion Crusaders in Christchurch tonight.

They may need to rely on complacency from the hosts, who are confirmed top qualifiers for the finals after winning their past 11 games.

Umaga believes his players will lift for 35-year-old All Blacks stalwart Kaino, whose 139th game for the Blues is his last before departing for French club Toulouse.

"This game means a lot. We want to send Jerome off in the best possible fashion," Umaga said.

"We are going into a cauldron in Christchurch but we have to go with eyes wide open and also take confidence from the game last week."

The 42-24 loss to the Hurricanes was their 11th, leaving the former Super Rugby powerhouses on the verge of equalling their second-worst season record.

The worst was a 3-13 return in 2015, the final season under John Kirwan before Umaga began his unflattering tenure.

The Blues' lone starting change this week is at lock, where Ben Nee-Nee replaces the injured Matiaha Martin.

The Crusaders have made six changes from the team who trumped the Highlanders 45-22.

Only one member of their all-All Black tight five - captain Sam Whitelock - remains while Israel Dagg returns at fullback in just his fourth appearance of an injury-ravaged season.


Crusaders: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Seta Tamanivalu, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 George Bridge, 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 Mitchell Drummond, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Matt Todd, 6 Jordan Taufua, 5 Sam Whitelock (c), 4 Quinten Strange, 3 Michael Alaalatoa, 2 Andrew Makalio, 1 Tim Perry

Replacements: 16 Sam Anderson-Heather, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Donald Brighouse, 19 Luke Romano, 20 Pete Samu, 21 Bryn Hall, 22 Mitchell Hunt, 23 Manasa Mataele

Blues: 15 Matt Duffie, 14 Melani Nanai, 13 Michael Collins, 12 Rieko Ioane, 11 Caleb Clarke, 10 Stephen Perofeta, 9 Augustine Pulu (c), 8 Akira Ioane, 7 Blake Gibson, 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Ben Nee-Nee, 4 Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, 3 Ofa Tuungafasi, 2 Matt Moulds, 1 Alex Hodgman

Replacements: 16 Ross Wright, 17 Pauliasi Manu, 18 Sione Mafileo, 19 Jacob Pierce, 20 Murphy Taramai, 21 Sam Nock, 22 Bryn Gatland, 23 Tamati Tua

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