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The Blues are coming off a tough win over the Waratahs in Newcastle and now host reigning Super Rugby champions the Crusaders at Eden Park. Join The Roar for live scores and a blog of the match from 5:05pm (AEDT).
A win over the Waratahs away from home should boost confidence at the Blues following their opening-round defeat. However, the Blues’ quality will be measured more accurately today when they clash against the Crusaders.
The Crusaders may be coming off a defeat to the Chiefs, but that was an intense, high-quality contest between two perennial Super Rugby contenders. If the Blues wish to consider themselves among that bracket, they have to aim up at home against the best team in Super Rugby history.
It is a rare thing for the Crusaders to lose two matches in a row so expect Canterbury to come out and punish any complacency the Blues show this afternoon at Eden Park.
The Crusaders are also strengthened by the return of All Blacks half Richie Mo’unga, who missed last week’s clash against the Chiefs. His inclusion adds even more quality to an already formidable Crusaders team.
The Blues have shown enough so far to suggest they can match the Crusaders this afternoon. They only lost to the Chiefs by ten points in the opening round and beat the Waratahs well in Newcastle. It is always a risk to tip against the Crusaders though and history suggests that the Crusaders should be backed yet again in a tight contest.
Crusaders by seven.
Time: 5:05pm (AEDT)
Venue: Eden Park
Coverage: Fox Sports, Kayo Sports
Betting: Blues $3.25, Crusaders $1.33
1. Karl Tu’inukuafe, 2. James Parsons, 3. Ofa Tuungafasi, 4. Patrick Tuipulotu (c), 5. Josh Goodhue, 6. Dalton Papalii, 7. Blake Gibson, 8. Hoskins Sotutu; 9. Jonathan Ruru, 10. Stephen Perofeta, 11. Mark Telea, 12. TJ Faiane, 13. Joe Marchant, 14. Jordan Hyland, 15. Matt Duffie. Reserves: 16. Kurt Eklund, 17. Ezekiel Lindenmuth, 18. Sione Mafileo, 19. Tom Robinson, 20. Tony Lamborn; 21. Sam Nock, 22. Harry Plummer, 23. Emoni Narawa.
1. Joe Moody, 2. Codie Taylor, 3. Oliver Jager, 4. Scott Barrett (c), 5. Mitchell Dunshea, 6. Cullen Grace, 7. Tom Christie, 8. Tom Sanders, 9. Bryn Hall, 10. Richie Mo’unga, 11. George Bridge, 12. Jack Goodhue, 13. Braydon Ennor, 14. Sevu Reece, 15. David Havili. Reserves: 16. Andrew Makalio, 17. George Bower, 18. Michael Alaalatoa, 19. Luke Romano, 20. Sione Havili, 21. Mitchell Drummond, 22. Brett Cameron, 23. Will Jordan.