Luatua loss for Blues

Thu, 11 Jul 2013 07:49
Large steven luatua all blacks Large kirwan looks630 Large steven luatua blues charges

Blues head coach John Kirwan made four changes to his starting XV for Saturday's final match of the season against the Chiefs at Eden Park.

Blues head coach John Kirwan made four changes to his starting XV for Saturday's final match of the season against the Chiefs at Eden Park.

All Black flank Steven Luatua has been ruled out of action with a shoulder injury and will be replaced by Kane Barrett.

The 104 Test veteran Keven Mealamu will start at hooker in place of James Parsons, while his All Black teammate Piri Weepu has overcome a rib injury to replace Jamison Gibson-Park at scrumhalf.

Rene Ranger shifts from the wing to his preferred position of outside centre, giving New Zealand Under-20 star Lolagi Visinia the opportunity to make his Blues debut on the left wing.

Peter Saili is sick and has been bracketed at No.8 with Brendon O'Connor.

This will be Blues captain and centurion Ali Williams' last game for the franchise along with Rene Ranger and Anthony Boric who are all heading overseas at the end of the season.

Kirwan said the Blues were out to finish the season on a high and salvage some pride with one final effort against New Zealand front runners the Chiefs.

"It's about pride for us," Kirwan said.

"We've had a season that we expected and I think if we can finish with a great performance then it's been a real step in the right direction to put this franchise back on track.

"We all would have loved to have make the playoffs or been in contention this week; that hasn't happened but we've played some great football and we're heading in the right direction so we need to go out there and play for pride and show people that we are a force to be reckoned with going forward."

Blues: 15 Charles Piutau, 14 Frank Halai, 13 Rene Ranger, 12 Francis Saili, 11 Lolagi Visinia, 10 Baden Kerr, 9 Piri Weepu, 8 Peter Saili/Brendon O'Connor, 7 Luke Braid, 6 Kane Barrett, 5 Ali Williams, 4 Anthony Boric, 3 Angus Ta'avao, 2 Keven Mealamu, 1 Sam Prattley.
Replacements: 16 James Parsons, 17 Ofa Tu'ungafasi, 18 Liaki Moli, 19 Brendon O'Connor/Sean Polwart, 20 Jamison Gibson-Park, 21 Jackson Willison, 22 Marty McKenzie.

Date: Saturday, July 13
Venue: Eden Park, Auckland
Kick-off: 19.35 (07.35 GMT)
Referee: Chris Pollock (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Jonathon White (New Zealand), Garrett Williamson (New Zealand)
TMO: Glenn Newman (New Zealand)

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sun, 30 April 2017
Brumbies v Blues 06h05 Canberra
Bath v Gloucester 14h00 Recreation Ground
Fri, 05 May 2017
Hurricanes v Stormers 07h35 Westpac Stadium
Cheetahs v Highlanders 17h00 Bloemfontein
Sat, 06 May 2017
Worcester Warriors v Leicester Tigers 22h00 Sixways
Northampton Saints v Harlequins 22h00 Franklin's Gardens
Wasps v Saracens 22h00 Ricoh Arena
Glasgow Warriors v Edinburgh 22h00 Scotstoun Stadium
Dragons v Cardiff Blues 22h00 Rodney Parade
Zebre v Treviso 22h00 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Ulster v Leinster 22h00 Kingspan Stadium
Munster v Connacht 22h00 Thomond Park
Scarlets v Ospreys 22h00 Parc y Scarlets
Gloucester v Exeter Chiefs 22h00 Kingsholm
Sale Sharks v Bath 22h00 AJ Bell Stadium
Bristol v Newcastle Falcons 22h00 Ashton Gate
Rebels v Lions 05h00 Melbourne
Chiefs v Reds 07h35 New Plymouth
Waratahs v Blues 09h45 Allianz Park
Sharks v Force 13h05 Kings Park, Durban
Bulls v Crusaders 15h15 Loftus Versfeld
Jaguares v Sunwolves 21h40 Buenos Aires
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 8 3 0 5 17
Waratahs 9 3 0 6 13
Reds 9 2 0 7 11
Force 8 2 0 6 9
Rebels 8 1 1 6 7
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 9 9 0 0 41
Chiefs 9 8 0 1 37
Hurricanes 8 7 0 1 33
Highlanders 9 6 0 3 28
Blues 8 3 0 5 17
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 9 6 0 3 26
Bulls 8 3 0 5 14
Cheetahs 9 2 0 7 10
Sunwolves 9 1 0 8 6
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 9 8 0 1 37
Sharks 9 6 1 2 28
Jaguares 9 4 0 5 20
Kings 9 3 0 6 15