Both sides go into this match on the back of wins the week before. Our team beat the Brumbies – the top-ranked Australian side – by 12-18 in Canberra on Sunday night, and now turn their attention to the second-ranked Waratahs, who overcame the Reds last week 26-29.
Though the margin was slim, the Blues dominated most facets of their game, and if it weren’t for some inaccurate kicks at goal, and some committed Brumbies defence, the damage could have been much worse. As it was, they managed to score an impressive three tries to none, banking the bonus point in the process.
The difference for the Waratahs against the Reds, meanwhile, was the boot of star first five-eighth Bernard Foley, who made the opposition pay for their infringements in the second half.
The home team can’t expect as many penalty opportunities against the Blues, who are currently the least penalised team in Super Rugby.
Indeed, aside from the Waratahs having a better conversion rate with kicks at goal (80.95%) than the Blues (72%), statistics provided by ThreeNRugby give us the edge coming into this match.
The Blues lead the Waratahs in terms of points scored (242 v 216) and conceded (203 v 289), tries scored (31 v 27), penalties conceded (68 v 80), and even tackle accuracy (90.23% v 86.16%).
Not that our players will be taking anything for granted. In 21 matches, the Waratahs have won eight times – including the last six home games in a row.
Kick-off is at 9:45pm (NZ time) at Allianz Stadium, Sydney.
1996: Blues 56-44 at Auckland
1997: Blues 34-20 at Sydney
1998: Blues 47-25 at Auckland
1999: Blues 21-20 at Sydney
2000: Blues 31-17 at Auckland
2001: Waratahs 35-19 at Sydney
2002: Blues 22-20 at Auckland
2003: Blues 31-18 at Sydney
2004: Blues 22-17 at Auckland
2005: Waratahs 25-20 at Sydney
2006: Waratahs 43-9 at Sydney
2007: Blues 34-6 at Auckland
2008: Waratahs 37-16 at Sydney
2009: Waratahs 27-22 at Auckland
2010: Waratahs 39-32 at Sydney
2011: Blues 31-17 at Auckland
Blues 26-13 at Auckland (playoff)
2013: Waratahs 30-27 at Sydney
2014: Blues 21-13 at Auckland
2015: Waratahs 23-11 at Sydney
2016: Blues 34-28 at Auckland
Matches: 21. Blues 13 wins, Waratahs 8.
Highest scores: Blues 56 at Auckland 1996; Waratahs 44 at Auckland 1996 (match lost).
Biggest winning margins: Blues 28 (34-6) at Auckland 2007; Waratahs 34 (43-9) at Sydney 2006.