Our Blues are back in action this weekend following the bye, and are set to meet the top-ranked Australian side in this year’s Investec Super Rugby competition, the Brumbies.
Despite being number-one in their conference, the Brumbies go into this encounter with the same number of wins as the Blues (three from eight). Plus our boys in blue will take heart from an excellent losing performance against the high-flying Hurricanes two weeks ago, a side that trounced the Brumbies in Wellington last time out.
Before that, the Brumbies lost to the lowly Rebels, a side that the Blues put to the sword way back in round one, so there’s lots to like about our chances going into this match, on current form anyway.
Furthermore, no New Zealand side has lost to an Australian side so far this year, and we haven’t lost to a side from across the Tasman since 2015 – a remarkable record that our team will be looking to preserve in Canberra on Sunday night.
History between the two sides
But it hasn’t always been one-way traffic, and the team will not underestimate the Australians in Canberra. The sides have played each other 22 times since the competition began in 1996, with a 13-9 split of victories in favour of us.
Last year, we beat the Brumbies 40-19 at Eden Park, after defeating them by just two points the previous year. In the two seasons before that, however, the Brumbies won both of the matches between the two sides.
The match is at GIO Stadium in Canberra, and kick off is at 6:05pm (NZ time).
1996: Brumbies 40-34 at Canberra
1997: Blues 41-29 at Pukekohe
Blues 23-7 at Auckland (final)
1998: Blues 27-24 at Canberra
1999: Brumbies 22-16 at Auckland
2000: Blues 18-15 at Canberra
2001: Brumbies 35-7 at Auckland
2002: Brumbies 45-26 at Canberra
2003: Blues 41-15 at Auckland
Blues 42-21 at Auckland (semi-final)
2004: Brumbies 44-27 at Canberra
2005: Blues 17-0 at Auckland
2006: Blues 26-15 at Auckland
2007: Blues 17-15 at Canberra
2008: Brumbies 16-11 at Auckland
2009: Brumbies 37-15 at Canberra
2010: Blues 39-34 at Auckland
2012: Blues 30-16 at Canberra
2013: Brumbies 20-13 at Auckland
2014: Brumbies 26-9 at Canberra
2015: Blues 16-14 at Auckland
2016: Blues 40-15 at Auckland
Matches: 22. Blues 13 wins, Brumbies 9.
Highest scores: Blues 42 at Auckland (semi-final) 2003; Brumbies 45 at Canberra 2002.
Biggest winning margins: Blues 26 (41-15, round-robin) at Auckland 2003; Brumbies 28 (35-7) at Auckland 2001.