It’s only round seven, but this weekend’s clash with the Highlanders in Dunedin could very well be the match that defines our 2017 Investec Super Rugby season.
The Blues are currently sitting in eighth place at the time of writing, precariously positioned in the final playoffs spot and just one point ahead of the Highlanders. A win for us will help cement our position as playoff contenders, but a loss will see our opponent leap-frog into the playoff picture at our expense.
If that happens, it could be difficult – but certainly not impossible – to catch them back up, making bonus-point wins so much more important as the season progresses. So there’ll be much more than just revenge on offer for the heartbreaking 12-16 home loss against the Highlanders back in round three.
As you already know, the Blues come into this match following back-to-back home victories against the Bulls at QBE Stadium, and the Western Force last week at Eden Park. Meanwhile, the Highlanders came from behind to beat the Brumbies in Canberra, and then smashed the Rebels last week at home.
It’s fair to say that our team, while showing flashes of brilliance this season, are still searching for the perfect 80-minute performance. While the injury-depleted Highlanders have also been far from consistent this season.
So it’s with bated breath that we await the 7:35pm kick off time, this Saturday 8 April at Forsyth Barr stadium in Dunedin.
1996: Blues 51-29 at Pukekohe
1997: Blues 45-28 at Dunedin
1998: Blues 41-22 at Auckland
Blues 37-31 at Auckland (semi-final)
1999: Highlanders 19-13 at Dunedin
2000: Blues 26-16 at Auckland
2001: Highlanders 23-8 at Dunedin
2002: Highlanders 20-13 at Auckland
2003: Highlanders 22-11 at Dunedin
2004: Blues 50-22 at Auckland
2005: Blues 30-14 at Dunedin
2006: Highlanders 25-13 at Dunedin
2007: Blues 28-9 at Auckland
2008: Blues 40-15 at Dunedin
2009: Blues 26-6 at Auckland
2010: Blues 19-15 at Dunedin
2011: Blues 15-10 at Dunedin
Blues 33-16 at Auckland
2012: Highlanders 30-27 at Dunedin
Highlanders 27-20 at Auckland
2013: Blues 29-18 at Auckland
Highlanders 38-28 at Dunedin
2014: Highlanders 29-21 at Dunedin
Blues 30-12 at Auckland
2015: Highlanders 30-24 at Dunedin
Highlanders 44-7 at Auckland
2016: Blues 33-31 at Auckland
2017: Highlanders 16-12 at Auckland