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Saturday Jun 18, 2022

Huge upset in Super Rugby final

The Auckland Blues have had their finest season in recent history. After a few years in the wilderness, the Blues topped the table ahead of fellow New Zealand sides; The Crusaders and The Hurricanes as well as Australian outfit the Brumbies.

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All of these sides made up the top 4 of the league, and incidentally, all 4 made it into the semi-finals of the playoffs after some truly entertaining games against the rest of the top 8.

After seeing off both The Brumbies and The Hurricanes in the semis, it was the old rivalry of The Blues Vs The Crusaders at Eden Park in Auckland.

After a dominant season from the Auckland Blues, they had every right to walk into this final with their heads held high. They were pushed hard in the semi-final against The Brumbies, but squeezed out a result, thus proving they could see out games in high-pressure situations.

The Blues were on a 15-game win streak before this final, so there was no doubt they were feeling confident.

The issue is that the side they were facing is not one to be taken for granted. Christchurch-based side, The Crusaders, are the most successful side in the Pacific-region competition. With their lineup featuring a huge number of All-Black players, it was certainly the Blues’ toughest challenge this season.

The conditions were poor. The wind and the rain caused havoc at the Blues set-piece. Botching line out after line out, the Blues never got into the game in the first half.

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Richie Mo’unga kept the Crusaders ticking along with his boot, always keeping the Blues on the back foot.

The Crusaders saw themselves to a comfortable and well-deserved 0-13 lead at halftime.

The Blues fought themselves back in the game in the 59th minute, after scrum-half Finlay Christie went over to bring the scores back to within 6 points once converted.

It was not to be however, with Sevu Reece scoring his second try of the game with 4 minutes remaining to take the game beyond the Blues’ reach, and place the title in The Crusaders’ hands.

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The final result was:

Blues 7-21 Crusaders

A regular fan at the game gave us his thoughts about the atmosphere at Eden Park:

“Atmosphere was great till halfway through the second half, then hope ran dry”

Blues captain, Beauden Barrett, understandably disappointed had the following to say:

“It’s really disappointing. We had a good season, we wanted to come here and do a job here tonight. It’s a tough one to swallow,”

A difficult one for Blues fans to take after such a promising season.

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