23 - 18
2015/05/15 | 09:35 |  Super Rugby | Eden Park |  Full Time
Super Rugby

As it happened: Blues 23-18 Bulls

2015-05-15 11:27
Last Updated at 15:12
15 May 11:41
Bulls flyhalf Handre Pollard caught in possession... (Getty Images)
15 May 11:35

Thanks for tuning in!

The Blues picked up four points for their victory, but remained bottom of the competitive New Zealand Conference. They also stayed 13th in the overall standings.

The Bulls picked up a single point for losing by seven or fewer points, and moved to the top of the South African Conference, and into second place in the overall log.

In next weekend's Round 15 action, the Bulls travel to Rotorua to play the Chiefs (Friday, May 22 at 09:35), while the Blues host the Hurricanes in Auckland (Saturday, May 23 at 09:35).

Be sure to join Sport24 for more interactive commentary this weekend!

15 May 11:28
15 May 11:24


Despite their loss, the Bulls earned a losing bonus point which puts them at the top of the South African Conference.

However, should the Lions beat the Brumbies on Saturday, they would be top...

15 May 11:22

Well done to the Blues!

It was however a game the Bulls should never have lost. They had most of the possession and territory, dominated the set pieces but releid too heavily on their driving maul, which let them down at the end there. The Bulls were just a tad too predictable for my liking.

Credit tot he Kiwis side who made full use of their opportunities.

15 May 11:19
FULL-TIME: Blues 23-18 Bulls
15 May 11:18
80' - The Blues win the scrum and Cowan boots it out to end the game...
15 May 11:17
80' - The referee awards the Blues a scrum. This will be the final act of the game...
15 May 11:17
79' - The Blues win the lineout and attempt to run the clock down...
15 May 11:16
79' - West sets up a lineout inside Bulls territory.
15 May 11:16
79' - Penalty to the Blues as a Bulls player holds on too long on the ground.
15 May 11:16

78'  - But the Blues do well to defend the driving maul this time round.

The Bulls have possession just outside the 22...

15 May 11:15

77' - Another powerful lineout drive from the Bulls sees them win a penalty. It allows Pollard to set up a lineout just outside the Blues 22m area.

Here is their chance...

15 May 11:13
76' - Scrum penalty to the Bulls which allows Pollard to set up a lineout just short of halfway...
15 May 11:13
75' - The scrums remain a mess and time is running out for the Bulls who must now run it from deep...
15 May 11:11
73' - Replays show it may not have been a try as he was in front of his team-mate (West) who kicked it ahead after the Bulls lost possession inside the red zone...
15 May 11:10
72' - Blues No 13 Francis Saili scoops on a loose ball but knocks it on with the tryline begging...
15 May 11:08
71' - Stegmann penalised on the ground just outside the Blues 22m area. It allows the hosts to clear up-field...
15 May 11:07
69' - Blues sub: Cowan on at scrumhalf for Gibson-Park.
15 May 11:06

69' - CONVERSION slotted by West.

Blues 23-18 bulls

15 May 11:05
68' - Centre George Moala rounds off for the Blues after a concerted period of attack on the Bulls line.
15 May 11:04
68' - TRY to the Blues!
15 May 11:03
65' - Bulls still under pressure inside their own 22 after Pollard fails to gain much ground on his clearance...
15 May 11:01
63' - Bulls prop subs: Greyling on for Nyakane and Kruger on for Van der Merwe.
15 May 10:59
62' - But good defence from the Bulls on their own line forces the hosts into touch...
15 May 10:59
62'  -The Blues win a free kick from the ensuing scrum and take a quick tap...
15 May 10:58
60' - Bulls in trouble after trying to run it from behind their own goal-line. Engelbrecht is caught in possession and then knocks it on inside his own 22m area...
15 May 10:55

58' - Bulls sub: Paige has now bee replaced by Travis Ismaiel.

Ismaiel will play wing, with Hougaard moving to scrumhalf.

15 May 10:52
54' - Bulls scrumhalf Scrumhalf Rudy Paige has injured his knee, but will soldier on, for the moment...
15 May 10:49
53' - A big blow for the Blues as they lose skipper Steven Luatua with what looks like a wrist injury!
15 May 10:48
53' - Blues subs: Mealamu on for Parsons and Gibson of for Luatua.
15 May 10:46
53' - That previous try was set up by a great break from Engelbrecht...
15 May 10:46

53' - Pollard fails with his conversion attempt from the touchline.

Blues 16-18 Bulls

15 May 10:45
52' - Jan Serfontein rounds off his second try after a great backline move started by the Bulls from inside their own half.
15 May 10:44
52' - TRY to the Bulls!
15 May 10:43
51' - Bulls sub: Stegmann on for Labuschagne.
15 May 10:40
49' - Another powerful driving maul brings the Bulls close to the Blues tryline, but again good defence from the hosts forces a turnover...
15 May 10:38
47' - A chip kick over the Blues defence from Pollard puts the hosts under pressure, but they do well to clear...
15 May 10:36
45' - The Bulls steal the Blues lineout and then swing it wide, where a great break from Engelbrecht brings play into the 22m area...
15 May 10:35
44' - The Bulls surge into the 22m area, but the Blues win a turnover and then a penalty...
15 May 10:33
43' - Pollard sets up a lineout just inside the Blues half...
  • 80'

    The Blues pick and drive a couple of times before earning a scrum. The 80 minutes are up and Jimmy Cowan kicks it out after a quick heel. The first half was dominated by the Bulls but they couldn't turn possession into points and they paid the penalty. Good effort from the Blues who get a deserved win. The Bulls go top of the South African conference but they will have expected better.

  • 80'

    BLUES 23-18 BULLS!

  • 79'

    Huge tackle from Saili on Basson, he read the play perfectly there and nailed the winger. The Blues then earn a penalty for holding on.

  • 78'

    Good defence initially and the Bulls have to recycle. They are on the 22...

  • 77'

    The Bulls maul makes ground before they earn a penalty. After failing to make ground through their backs we'll come back for the penalty and Pollard kicks to touch. It's a lineout just outside the 22.

  • 76'

    Eventually the Bulls get the penalty though and Pollard will clear to just short of halfway. The clock is ticking.

  • 75'

    Another reset!

  • 74'

    Big scrum but both front rows come up so we'll have a reset. The Blues won't mind that in the Bulls 22.

  • 72'

    Oh no! What a disaster for Saili! The Bulls lose the ball and Saili hacks forward and with no defenders in front of him he can't collect and knocks on. That would have been game over if he'd held on.

  • 71'

    The Blues are picking and driving through their forwards just inside the Bulls half. This will take some time off the clock if nothing else but the Bulls turn it over.

  • 69'

    The Blues knock on just outside their own 22 but the chance is wasted as the Bulls are forced into touch. Deon Stegmann then concedes a penalty which will give the Blues the chance to clear.

  • 68'

    CONVERSION, WEST! 23-18: Two more points from West and the Blues stretch their lead to five.

  • 67'

    TRY, BLUES, MOALA! 21-18: Saili is almost through but just gets scragged by du Plessis. The ball is recycled quickly though and Moala picks and goes and no-one will stop him from that range. The Blues are back in front.

  • 66'

    Little snipe from Gibson-Park and the Blues are just ten metres out...

  • 64'

    Visinia makes a half-break initially and then after a couple more phases Saili tries a grubber through. Kriel is there and eventually it's the Blues who put it out. The Bulls just about win their lineout and Pollard clears.

  • 63'

    It goes to the backs and Moala again makes ground, but the Bulls have worked out that if they let him get up a head of steam, they can earn the turnover when he gets swallowed up by the defence. This time he's forced into touch so it's a Bulls lineout five metres from their line.

  • 63'

    Good carry from Jacques du Plessis to give his team a little breathing space before Pollard clears outside the 22.

  • 62'

    The Bulls shove early and it's a free-kick for the home side. The Blues are going to run it through the forwards.

  • 60'

    The Bulls choose to run the ball out of their own in-goal rather than kick. They end up knocking on and the Blues are almost in. Brendan O'Connor scoops it up but his final pass was knocked on by Ben Lam. It will be a Blues scrum though about ten metres out on the right.

  • 59'

    The Blues do well to get themselves out of trouble and eventually West puts Kriel under pressure with a good cross-kick.

  • 57'

    A bit of a kicking battle ends with Kriel getting the ball back from Pollard's kick. The Bulls have a chance but eventually knock on just outside the Blues 22. That was a good chance gone begging.

  • 56'

    Another big carry from Moala but Flip van der Merwe rips it off him and the Bulls are able to clear.

  • 55'

    The Blues are back in their own half but Gibson-Park clears it and Paige gets under it. He seems to have injured himself when collecting the ball, which means that Nenai is able to chuck him into touch. The Blues have a lineout about 35 metres out.

  • 54'

    We're back underway again and the Blues give a penalty away from the restart as they pull down a maul.

  • 53'

    Toughest kick of the night so far and Pollard pulls it just to the left. We've got a very tight game here as Luatua is going off with what looks like a nasty arm injury.

  • 53'

    We're going to have a bit of a delay as Luatua gets some treatment. In the meantime Keven Mealamu has come on for the Blues and will take over the captaincy. Blake Gibson replaces Luatua.

  • 52'

    TRY, BULLS, SERFONTEIN! 16-18: Huge scrum and the Bulls then go through the backs. JJ Engelbrecht made the break initially. After coming back right Serfontein spots a gap and dives over for his second.

  • 51'

    The Blues get it back and look dangerous but Gibson-Park's long pass is at Ioane's feet and he knocks on. The flanker had early made a big break to get the Blues on the front foot.

  • 50'

    Gibson-Park misses touch with his clearing kick but Jesse Kriel is stopped by the first man and after the Blues ruck over the top Kriel is pinged for playing the ball. Poor from West though who misses touch with the penalty.

  • 49'

    The Bulls maul was stopped after making ground initially and then when the Bulls went through the backs, Moala was able to hold his man up to earn the scrum.

  • 47'

    A little chip over the top puts Melani Nanai under pressure. Ioane does well to make a few metres to give the Blues a little more space and eventually Saili clears to just outside the 22.

  • 45'

    Good lineout steal from Flip van der Merwe and the Bulls are on the attack once more. A sloppy breakdown gives the Blues the chance to contest but Luatua knocks on as he spots the chance of a turnover. Bulls scrum coming up on the 22.

  • 43'

    Good work from the Bulls to get the ball back after a high kick from Paige. Great defence from the home side though to earn a penalty as Matfield comes in at the side.

  • 42'

    Tony Woodcock goes down in the scrum, penalty to the Bulls and Pollard will clear to the Blues 10-metre line.

  • 41'

    We're back again. It's going to be West to get us started in the second half. Off we go!

  • 41'

    The Blues get the ball back after the restart and the Bulls get lucky when Faumuina's wide pass is touched by a Bulls defender with an overlap out wide.

  • 41'

    Huge drive from Moala who makes about 15 metres on but when the ball goes to ground it doesn't come back so it's a scrum to the Bulls. Clever work from the visitors.

  • 40'

    West has a go at a long-range drop goal but it's well short and that will be it for the half. The Bulls have had most of the ball and territory but the Blues are in front. Clinical stuff from the home side.

  • 40'

    BLUES 16-13 BULLS!

  • 39'

    The Bulls have tried a couple of quick restarts today, this one doesn't pay off though as Gibson-Park produces a booming clearing kick.

  • 38'

    PENALTY, BLUES, WEST! 16-13: Four out of four for West and the Blues are back in front as half-time approaches.

  • 37'

    Stupid penalty conceded by Spies who keeps contesting for the ball after being told to leave it. Another chance for West just outside the 22.

  • 36'

    A kicking battle between West and Pollard ends with the Blues earning a lineout just outside the Bulls 22. Good work from the home side there.

  • 35'

    PENALTY, BLUES, WEST! 13-13: West slots it and the Blues are back level.

  • 34'

    Good work from the Blues half-backs to spot a couple of gaps and get into the 22. The Bulls fail to roll away at the next ruck and it will be an easy penalty to draw the Blues level.

  • 33'

    Massive charge from Moala who bumps off Paige before four men are needed to stop him.

  • 32'

    CONVERSION, POLLARD! 10-13: Easy extras for Pollard and it's a three-point lead for the visitors.

  • 31'

    TRY, BULLS, SERFONTEIN! 10-11: Great work from Pollard spotting a gap inside Luatua and Serfontein is on the shoulder and he''s not going to be stopped from two metres out. The Bulls are back in front.

  • 30'

    Big charge from Serfontein sets the Bulls up five metres out...

  • 29'

    Eventually the Bulls decide to go to their backs but the passing isn't crisp and they end up spilling a loose ball in midfield. The Blues can't scoop it up though and end up knocking on. We're going to have a Bulls scrum on the 22.

  • 28'

    Good maul defence from the Blues but the Bulls still have it about ten metres out. They are going to go through the forwards.

  • 27'

    Big Bulls scrum and they earn the penalty which they kick to the corner.

  • 26'

    Vital interception from Parsons on halfway as the ball was sent inside for Bjorn Basson. The Blues then try to spread it wide but George Moala knocks on with men outside him. Chance wasted.

  • 25'

    Good work from Luatua off the back of the scrum to give West more time to clear. He boots it out towards his own 10-metre line to clear the danger.

  • 24'

    Nearly 25 minutes in, the Bulls have had 84% possession. And yet they trail!

  • 23'

    Huge Bulls drive and they look to be on their way to the line. The Blues finally sort out their defence though and stop the maul five metres out. When it doesn't come back, the Blues earn the scrum.

  • 21'

    Penalty against the Blues for failing to roll away. The Bulls kick to the 22 and will go back to their maul.

  • 20'

    More Bulls possession in the Blues half and Serfontein slips one tackle but the home side are defending well before Ioane rips a ball away.

  • 18'

    TRY, BLUES, VISINIA! 8-6: Out of nowhere the Blues are over. Pollard missed touch with his clearing kick and the Lolagi Visinia sprints through two tacklers before stepping the last man to go over. Sheer pace there and it was Marcel van der Merwe who was left grasping at thin air.

  • 18'

    CONVERSION, WEST! 10-6: It's a four-point lead for the Blues after West's conversion. This has been clinical from the hosts so far!

  • 17'

    PENALTY, BULLS, POLLARD! 3-6: No problem for Pollard and the Bulls are back in front.

  • 16'

    The Blues caught offside in midfield for the third time already. West is the man singled out this time. Pollard will take the shot at goal.

  • 15'

    Blues scrum under all sorts of pressure but they get it away. Good work from Steven Luatua but then Gibson-Park knocks on so it will be another scrum. Big pressure on the Blues pack here.

  • 14'

    The Blues earn a scrum as a Bulls carrier is held up in the tackle before a brief delay as the scrum is reset a couple of times.

  • 12'

    West is put under pressure from a good kick-chase, and after being scragged the Bulls disrupt the breakdown and collect the bobbling ball. Eventually they try a little grubber and Ben Lam waits just long enough to dot down for a 22 drop-out.

  • 11'

    Francis Saili tries to put in a huge hit of Jan Serfontein but the Springbok centre stands up strong. Eventually it's a Blues lineout and they kick it away.

  • 10'

    PENALTY, BLUES, WEST! 3-3: Over it goes and it's level. The Blues will be happy to be level having been dominated for most of the game so far.

  • 9'

    Cynical stuff from Pierre Spies who kills the ball five metres out. He'll be happy to give up just a penalty there and this should be easy for Ihaia West.

  • 8'

    Huge hit on Francois Hougaard from the restart and the Blues get it back. Good chance here just five metres out...

  • 7'

    PENALTY, BULLS, POLLARD! 0-3: Nice, easy one to get off the mark for Pollard and the Bulls take the lead. The ball hasn't been in the Bulls half yet.

  • 6'

    We're back in Blues territory and the hosts are caught offside about 25 metres out from in front. The Bulls will take the points this time.

  • 5'

    Marcel van der Merwe is over and it looks like a try. We're going to the TMO though...

  • 5'

    Flip van der Merwe had detached from the front of the maul and took out Akira Ioane so it's going to be a penalty for the Blues. A let-off for the home side who need to improve their maul defence quickly.

  • 4'

    A couple of resets before the Blues are penalised at the scrum. The Bulls try to use their advantage but eventually knock on. The Bulls go back to the corner.

  • 2'

    Almost a try as the Blues decide not to defend the maul and almost see the Bulls rumble over. Gibson-Park gets in for a vital tackle as Lappies Labuschagne looked to be over. Five-metre scrum for the Bulls

  • 1'

    Blues under pressure from the kick-off and concede a lineout about 30 metres out. Great opportunity for the Bulls to start the game.

  • 1'

    The Blues seemed to cope ok against the Bulls maul but then go offside. The visitors turn down the points and kick to the corner instead. Bold move.

  • 0'

    Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the first Super Rugby game of the weekend between the Blues and the Bulls in Auckland. The visitors are kicking off a grueling overseas tour but need just a point to move to the top of the South African conference.

  • 0'

    The Blues' slim hopes of play-off rugby were effectively ended in Melbourne last week, but they've won two in a row at home. Sir John Kirwan has made five changes to his side, with James Parsons, Charlie Faumuina and Josh Bekhuis coming into the pack. Jamison Gibson-Park and Ben Lam are added to the backline.

  • 0'

    The Bulls come into the game off a bye week, and welcome back skipper Pierre Spies to the starting lineup. He replaces Jacques du Plessis, with Arno Botha shifting to flanker, while Rudy Paige starts instead of the injured Piet van Zyl.

  • 0'

    Handre Pollard gets us underway. Here we go!

Jump to

Blues Bulls
  • 2 Tries 2
    • 18' Lolagi Visinia
    • 67' George Moala
    • 31' Jan Serfontein
    • 52' Jan Serfontein
  • 2 Conversions 1
    • 19' Ihaia West
    • 69' Ihaia West
    • 32' Handre Pollard
  • 3 Penalties 2
    • 10' Ihaia West
    • 35' Ihaia West
    • 38' Ihaia West
    • 7' Handre Pollard
    • 17' Handre Pollard
  • 0 Drop Goals 0
  • 0 Yellow Cards 0
  • 0 Red Cards 0
Team Line-ups
  • Tony Woodcock
  • James Parsons
  • Charlie Faumuina
  • Culum Retallick
  • Josh Bekhuis
  • Akira Ioane
  • Brendon O'Connor
  • Steven Luatua
  • Jamison Gibson-Park
  • Ihaia West
  • Melani Nanai
  • George Moala
  • Francis Saili
  • Ben Lam
  • Lolagi Visinia
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12
  • 13
  • 14
  • 15
  • Trevor Nyakane
  • Adriaan Strauss
  • Marcel Van der Merwe
  • Flip van der Merwe
  • Victor Matfield
  • Pieter Labuschagne
  • Arno Botha
  • Pierre Spies
  • Rudy Paige
  • Handre Pollard
  • Bjorn Basson
  • Jan Serfontein
  • JJ Engelbrecht
  • Francois Hougaard
  • Jesse Kriel
  • Keven Mealamu
  • Ofa Tu'ungafasi
  • Sam Prattley
  • William Lloyd
  • Blake Gibson
  • Jimmy Cowan
  • Simon Hickey
  • Matt Vaega
  • 16
  • 17
  • 18
  • 19
  • 20
  • 21
  • 22
  • 23
  • Callie Visagie
  • Dean Greyling
  • Jacques Du Plessis
  • Deon Stegmann
  • Burger Odendaal
  • Jacques-Louis Potgieter
  • Travis Ismaiel
  • Werner Kruger

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