Live updates: Super Rugby Pacific - Blues v Hurricanes at ...

11 May 2024
Blues vs Hurricanes

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Kia ora, good afternoon and welcome to Newshub's live coverage of the Blues v Hurricanes Super Rugby Pacific clash at Auckland's Eden Park.

These are the two form teams of the competition, although the Wellingtonians have now suffered their first defeat of the season against ACT Brumbies, but bounced back in convincing fashion over NSW Waratahs last week.

The Blues are riding a seven-game winning streak, since their only loss in the capital in March, maintaining their standards, despite losing their All Blacks inside back combination of Finlay Christie and Stephen Perofeta.

They are also without international centre Rieko Ioane this week, after he suffered concussion against Melbourne Rebels.

Of course, the Hurricanes are also without outstanding halfback Cam Roigard and are still stretching their depth chart at hooker, where they have lost their three contracted specialists.

The winners of this contest will end the weekend atop the table.

Join us at 4:30pm for kickoff.

TAB Odds: Blues $1.67, Hurricanes $2.10

Top-of-table Hurricanes-Blues showdown has All Blacks selection implications

Just one point separates the Hurricanes and Blues heading into their Super Rugby Pacific top-of-the table clash at Auckland's Eden Park, but top spot isn't the only thing they're battling for.

Both side's feature loose forwards who have impressed this season, hoping to earn a spot in Scott Robertson's first All Blacks squad later this year.

An early Mother's Day celebration for the Blues is also icing on the cake for No.8 Hoskins Sotutu, after signing on with the franchise until 2026. 

"Yeah, it's all good," said Sotutu, whose father Waisake was a foundation member of the Blues in 1996. "It's the first time I've actually heard of a high tea... I didn't know what it was."

"I love playing here and it's always the team that I wanted to play for growing up, so it's pretty easy in the end."

Robertson may also have reason to raise a glass, with Sotutu hoping to be in black later this year.

"That's sort of something that's always in the back of my mind, I guess," said Sotutu. "Black jersey is a goal."

His performances this year have certainly helped in that pursuit.

"He's the top tryscorer in the competition, isn't he, so yeah, I think he's playing outstanding," observed Hurricanes coach Clark Laidlaw, who has his own weapon at the back of the scrum in Brayden Iose.

He's also in the All Blacks conversation.

"It's very humbling, but you know, I'm just really trying to improve my game and do the best I can to perform for the Hurricanes," said Iose.

He'll be hoping to do that against the Blues, with the winners in the boxseat to claim the top seed for the playoffs.

Laidlaw wonders: "If you have to play the Crusaders, if they finish eighth, or the Highlanders or the Drua, is it enough reward for finishing first to play a quality team like that?"

Whether it's beneficial or not, there will be a clear No.1 come Saturday night.

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