Frank Oliver, John Kirwan, Mark Graham


Sean Fitzpatrick


Robin Brooke

Player of the Year

Xavier Rush

Oliver steps in at 11th hour 

With former coach Gordon Hunter battling the cancer that would ultimately claim his life, assistant coach Frank Oliver had to step into the breach at the last moment and only found out the day the team assembled that he would be Head Coach. This immediately caused difficulties as it was not the side that Oliver and Hunter had discussed and not one he intended to select. 

Blues show promise before succumbing to worst ever finish 

The Blues threatened to build some momentum after consecutive home wins to the Crusaders (17-12) and the Reds (39-35), but their campaign ground to a shuddering halt when the Chiefs thrashed them 34-16.  

The 18-point defeat was the third heaviest in the Blues’ history at the time, although an even greater one was still to come when the Brumbies thumped them 35-7. That defeat was the Blues’ sixth loss in their last seven outings, and despite winning four matches, the same as their effort in 1999, the Blues finished two standings lower on the table – 11th.   

Muliaina catches the eye 

Scoring a match-winning try in a Super 12 game would be a significant moment in the career of any promising young player. So when 20-year-old Malili (Mils) Muliaina achieved the feat twice in the space of a week during his first two starts for the Blues, it showcased the talent the Blues had in their ranks. A product of Kelston Boys’ High School and a New Zealand Schools and Under-19 representative, Muliaina was called up to the Blues as a winger in 2001 and went on to cement his place as a centre during the club’s run to the title in 2003. He then played at fullback after enjoying success in the position with the All Blacks, for whom he was first capped in 2003. He moved to play for the Chiefs in 2006. 

Season stats

  • Played: 11
  • Win: 4
  • Loss: 7
  • PF: 243
  • PA: 298
  • Diff: -55
  • BP 5
  • Points: 21
  • Place: 11th