2007

Coaches

David Nucifora, Joe Schmidt, Liam Barry

Manager

Ant Strachan

Captain

Troy Flavell

Player of the Year

Isaia Toeava


The controversial R word 

Ahead of the 2007 Rugby World Cup in France, All Black coaches Graham Henry, Wayne Smith and Steve Hansen introduced a controversial conditioning programme and rotational selection policy designed to have the All Blacks arriving in Europe primed, physically and mentally. This meant four Blues players – Joe Rokocoko, Keven Mealamu, Tony Woodcock and Ali Williams – were unavailable for selection until round eight of the competition, and not available for training with the team until round six. 

Blues on fire 

The Blues made a sublime start to the season, dropping just one game in nine matches to go six points clear at the top of the table. With Jerome Kaino, Luke McAlister and Isaia Toeava growing as players, the Blues juggernaut looked unstoppable as they surged to consecutive victories over the Reds, Highlanders, Lions, Waratahs, Chiefs and Cheetahs.  

Late season capitulation 

The Sharks finally halted the Blues’ run, inflicting a 32-25 loss on Nucifora’s team in their first home defeat of the season. This was to be the start of a late-season capitulation by the Blues who went on to lose three matches in a row to South African sides. After leading the competition for most of the season, the Blues now faced the unbelievable prospect of missing out on the semi-finals. But in a must-win match, the Blues grounded out a 33-6 win over the Western Force at Subiaco Oval to secure a berth in the semi-finals. 

Blues lose in semi 

Playing their fourth successive match overseas, and having crossed the Indian Ocean three times in two weeks, proved too much for the Blues in their semi-final against the Sharks in Durban. After leading by four points with less than 20 minutes remaining, the Blues faded in the final quarter and were run down by the Sharks 34-18 to end their Super 14 campaign. But Nucifora refused to blame his side’s heavy travel schedule, saying his side had opportunities to close out the match but did not take them, while the Sharks cashed in on every opportunity they got. 

Season stats

  • Played: 13
  • Win: 9
  • Loss: 4
  • PF: 355
  • PA: 235
  • Diff: +120
  • BP 6
  • Points: 42
  • Place: 4th