The Blues have released their team sheet for their 1st round fixture against the Chiefs.
The Blues coach David Nucifora has announced his team to take on the Chiefs and it contains no less than four debutants for the team. Benson Stanley, Nick Evans, Tom McCartney and Danny Lee are all set to make their debuts on Saturday.
The game will also be Danny Lee’s 50th Super 14 appearance.
The Blues: 15. Isa Nacewa, 14. Anthony Tuitavake, 13. Isaia Toeava, 12. Benson Stanley, 11. Joe Rokocoko, 10. Nick Evans, 9. Danny Lee, 8. Nick Williams, 7. Justin Collins, 6. Jerome Kaino, 5. Troy Flavell (C) 4. Kurtis Haiu, 3. John Afoa, 2. Keven Mealamu, 1. Tony Woodcock.
Replacements: 16. Tom McCartney, 17. Nick White, 18. Anthony Boric, 19. Onosa’i Tololima-Auva’a, 20. Teniela Moa, 21. Ben Atiga, 22. Rudi Wulf.
A Blues v Chiefs History by Peter White.
Within the Rebel Sport Super 14 competition there are many fixtures that rugby supporters look forward to but few arouse the passions as much as a Blues v Chiefs clash.
Games between the two local rivals have been remarkably close since the first at Eden Park in 1996, won 39-31 by the Blues.
Most of the 12 games played have been relatively close, with the Blues holding a 7-5 win advantage.
There must be something about the allure of playing at Eden Park that brings out the best of the men from Waikato and Bay of Plenty; three of their five successes have come at the Blues’ famous home ground.
Chiefs’ fans fondly remember a hot night in March 2004 when West Auckland-bred Sione Lauaki scored with time up after a barnstorming run, to nail the victory that began a sequence of three-straight wins for the Chiefs over the Blues.
The Blues put an end to that run last year with an uncompromising and richly deserved win by 18-11 at Waikato Stadium.
The game is memorable for the record-breaking moment for the Blues’ most capped player Doug Howlett. The flying winger crossed for his 58th try in his 99th appearance in all Super rugby competitions, to claim the try scoring record from esteemed Queensland finisher Joe Roff.
The intensity of that typically tough Blues v Chiefs battle was summed up by Blues coach David Nucifora in his post-match assessment.
“We knew it would be tough and the guys said it was like trench warfare out there. We proved we can handle the intensity. We stepped up and I am proud of the way we just didn’t take it from them this time.”
Expect no less intensity when these two great rivals run out onto Eden Park on Saturday night for their opening game in the 2008 Rebel Sport Super 14.Tweet