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Live: Blues v Crusaders – Super Rugby Pacific final – World news

Live: Blues v Crusaders – Super Rugby Pacific final – World news
Luke Romano takes on his old side as the Blues host the Crusaders in the Super Rugby Pacific final.

Peter Meecham/Getty Images

Luke Romano takes on his old side as the Blues host the Crusaders in the Super Rugby Pacific final.

THE TEAMS

Crusaders: Will Jordan, Sevu Reece, Jack Goodhue, David Havili, Leicester Fainga’anuku, Richie Mo’unga, Bryn Hall, Cullen Grace, Tom Christie, Pablo Matera, Sam Whitelock, Scott Barrett (c), Oli Jager, Codie Taylor, George Bower. Reserves: Brodie McAlister, Tamaiti Williams, Fletcher Newell, Quinten Strange, Corey Kellow, Mitch Drummond, Braydon Ennor, George Bridge.

Blues: Stephen Perofeta, AJ Lam, Rieko Ioane, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Mark Telea, Beauden Barrett (c), Finlay Christie, Hoskins Sotutu, Adrian Choat, Akira Ioane, Tom Robinson, Josh Goodhue, Nepo Laulala, Kurt Eklund, Alex Hodgman. Reserves: Soane Vikena, Karl Tu’inukuafe, Ofa Tuungafasi, Luke Romano, Dalton Papalii/James Tucker, Sam Nock, Bryce Heem, Zarn Sullivan.

THE REFS

Referee: Ben O’Keeffe

Assistant referees: Nic Berry, Stu Curran

TMO: Shane McDermott

THE WEATHER

Cloudy with a few showers, turning to rain from late afternoon or early evening. Northeasterlies. 14degC at kickoff.

THE ODDS

Blues $1.75, Crusaders $1.97

HEAD-TO-HEAD HISTORY

Overall: Played 39, Blues wins: 11, Draws: 1, Crusaders wins: 27

Blues at home: Played 20, Blues wins: 8, Draws: 1, Crusaders wins: 11

Last meeting: Blues 27 Crusaders 23, Orangetheory Stadium, Christchurch, April 15, 2022 (Rd 9)

Previous finals: Crusaders 20 Blues 13, Eden Park, Auckland, May 30, 1998; Blues 21 Crusaders 17, Eden Park, Auckland, May 24, 2003.

THE BIG STORYLINES

‘Defence wins championships’: Slugfest final ahead

‘Little things make a big difference’ – Blues face final frontier in the big turnaround

Crusaders relish opportunity to sink the Blues in front of packed Eden Park

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Sellout showdown ‘a long time coming’ for Eden Park and hospitality

‘I couldn’t handle my emotions’: Relieved Pablo Matera eyes major first

Rangi v Razor – who ya got? Blues coach shrugs off rival’s Crusaders comparison

Will Dalton Papalii play? Blues name crocked skipper on bench for final

All Blacks lock Sam Whitelock declared fit for Super Rugby decider

Spotlight falls on Ben O’Keeffe ahead of Super Rugby Pacific final

Crusaders’ bonus as judiciary clears Pablo Matera for Super Rugby final

Crusaders lock Sam Whitelock races clock to be fit for final

Crusaders assistant Goodman confirms Leinster job

‘It’s up the big man, Foz:’ Richie Mo’unga’s take on the ABs No 10 job

Luke Romano hunting success, not revenge: ‘I can’t get caught up in the emotion’

‘This is no time to go into our shells’ – Blues star calls on team to embrace high stakes

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