The last of the warm-up games have been completed ahead of the start of the new Super Rugby Aotearoa season on Friday.
This weekend’s matchup has been described as “a game of three halves” and was played between the Chiefs, Blues and Crusaders in Cambridge on Saturday.
The game was originally meant to see the Blues lineup against the Crusaders at Eden Park, however, the recent lockdown in Auckland saw it shift to the Waikato.
The game which was closed to the public saw the teams play each other over three 40-minute halves. First up, was the Chiefs against the Crusaders, then Crusaders versus Blues, with the Chiefs and Blues closing out the three-way contest.
The Cheifs tried their best to push past the Crusaders but fell short 21-14, while the Blues got the better of the Cantabrians 26-19 in an exciting matchup that saw Jonathan Ruru get a hat trick.
The Blues continued their winning ways, seeing off the Chiefs 14-7 in the final ‘half’ with a hardworking effort on both sides of the field.
”Things were not looking good for us as we have been unable to train as a team. We are humbled by the support we have received from the clubs,” Blues coach Leon McDonald told superrugby.co.nz.
The game served as an opportunity for all three teams to trial different combinations in readiness for Friday’s start to the season.
Chiefs CEO Michael Collins told superrugby.co.nz, “Our primary focus is to provide opportunities that will best prepare the Gallagher Chiefs squad for Sky Super Rugby Aotearoa.”
First Half: Crusaders – 21 (Cullen Grace, Sevu Reece, Brodie McAlister tries; Richie Mo’unga 3 con) Chiefs – 14 (Quinn Tupaea, Shaun Stevenson tries; Bryn Gatland 2 con)
Second Half: Blues – 26 (Jonathan Ruru 3, Jacob Ratumaitavuki-Kneepkens tries; Otere Black 3 con) Crusaders – 19 (Leicester Fainga’anuku, Mitchell Dunshea, Chay Fihaki tries; Fergus Burke 2 con)
Third half: Blues – 14 (Tom Robinson, Kurt Eklund tries; Zarn Sullivan 2 con) Chiefs – 7 (Etene Nanai-Seturo try; Damian McKenzie con).