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
Mon, 27 March 2017
NWU-Pukke v UP-Tuks 14h45 Potchefstroom
Fort Hare v UKZN-Impi 16h30 Davidson Stadium
UWC v WSU 16h30 Cape Town
CUT-Ixias v NMMU-Madibaz 16h30 Bloemfontein
Wits v UCT-Ikeys 16h30 Johannesburg
Maties v UJ 17h00 Stellenbosch
Fri, 31 March 2017
Highlanders v Rebels 06h35 Dunedin
Sat, 01 April 2017
Blues v Force 04h15 Auckland
Chiefs v Bulls 06h35 Hamilton
Reds v Hurricanes 08h45 Suncorp Stadium
Stormers v Cheetahs 13h05 DHL Newlands
Zebre v Connacht 14h30 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Lions v Sharks 15h05 Ellis Park Stadium
Leinster v Wasps 15h15 Dublin
Munster v Toulouse 17h45 Limerick
Sun, 02 April 2017
Waratahs v Crusaders 06h05 Allianz Park
Saracens v Glasgow Warriors 13h00 Allianz Park
Clermont Auvergne v Toulon 15h15 Clermont-Ferrand
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 5 2 0 3 11
Waratahs 5 2 0 3 8
Reds 4 1 0 3 6
Force 4 1 0 3 5
Rebels 4 0 0 4 1
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 5 5 0 0 21
Chiefs 4 4 0 0 19
Hurricanes 4 3 0 1 15
Blues 5 2 0 3 11
Highlanders 5 2 0 3 9
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 4 4 0 0 17
Cheetahs 5 2 0 3 9
Bulls 4 1 0 3 5
Sunwolves 5 0 0 5 1
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 5 4 0 1 19
Jaguares 5 4 0 1 18
Sharks 5 4 0 1 17
Kings 5 1 0 4 5