By James Bennett
Join the team at 3news.co.nz/sport for live video updates as the Blues take on the Rebels in Super Rugby action from North Harbour Stadium. We will keep you up to date with all the action.
Refresh your browser occasionally and keep an eye out for added video as we go. We’ll warn you with a VIDEO UP sign every time we update it.
Scoreboard: Blues 40 - 23 Rebels
All VIDEO UPDATED, see you next time.
The siren sounds and the Blues have won, it wasn't easy but they got the job done. Great bookend performance from the Blues, the middle left a bit to be desired. Thanks for coming, look out for a match wrap with all the tries very soon.
79 mins - Well the Blues have finished like they started! Another try to finish things off. This time it's Luke Braid who scores, quality backline play creating space for Munro who made the bust. He had Braid trailing him like any good flanker should be and he benefited with an easy run to the line.
74 mins - TRY BLUES and that will be the winning score. Patient build up from the forwards worked for an overlap and it was Jared Payne who slid over virtually untouched. Quality play Blues and the Rebels brave effort has been in vein. McAlister hits the post with his conversion and misses. Ten point game now.
72 mins - Aww Blues dodge a bullet, the Rebels had the ball in good position but a loose pass didn't find hands. Sigh of relief from the North Harbour crowd.
71 mins - Blues with some slow but steady build up work as McAlister dabs a kick through. Kingi kicks back then the Rebels get a free kick and switch hot onto attack.
69 mins - Here we go! Cipriani nails a penalty goal from 40 odd out and the Rebels are within touching distance!
68 mins - Blues fans beware! This is by no means over. Yes, you have the bonus point but do you have the win?
65 mins - Cipriani makes no mistake as the Blues make a sub, Woodcock off with a slight calf twinge while McCartney comes on.
64 mins - Rebels on the front foot once more and a loose pass gives Mealamu a chance to stop the attack, he does so but illegally - going off his feet. Cipriani to have a shot.
60 mins - Here's a stat to sum up the see-saw nature of this match, total errors - Rebels 25, Blues 22. Plenty of them, often in scoring positions.
58 mins - Rebels cough it up, possibly with some help from the stray Matthewson hand! Ranger goes for a run but is penalised for holding on. He had Toeava outside him, possibly should've passed?
55 mins - Rebels with some patient build up work of 15 plus phases, they aren't giving this game up by any stretch. Delve the number eight barrels over but is held up by Toeava and McAlister.
53 mins - VIDEO UPDATED with the second half effort from Stanley.
50 mins - Rebels shift back onto attack and start to make some inroads, serious question marks over both teams defence tonight! The crowd get to their feet as local lad Luke McAlister comes on at first five for Brett. He makes a lovely 50m clearance to start.
47 mins - Ohhh Benson Stanley scores a try after some poor play from Danny Cipriani. The Englishman took the ball into contact and Stanley simply ripped it off him and scampered 40 metres to score next to the posts. Ohh! Brett's kicking woes continue, he misses again. Shocker!
44 mins - Brett gets a second bite at the penalty cherry but misses again from a handy angle. Poor kicking from the Blues first five there.
41 mins - Blues straight on attack to start the second half. Kingi at fullback for the Rebels makes a high tackle and the Blues opt for an early shot at goal. Fair enough penalty, was around the head of Toeava. Brett misses though, no damage done both to player and scoreboard.
Halftime - All video from the first half is now updated, check it out!
40 mins - Rebels get a penalty and Cipriani does the sensible thing and boots it out, halftime and the Rebels are in the hunt in a game many, including myself, had written them off in.
38 mins - Blues hot on attack at the back end of the half, smashing away inside the Rebels 22m. Alas, a little knock on and the play breaks down, I think it was Woodcock with the mistake. Not far from the break.
34 mins - Brett notices there's no one at home for the Rebels at fullback and punts long down field. Rebels kick back and play makes it's way to the middle of the park.
32 mins - VIDEO UPDATED of the early try scoring action. Take a look!
31 mins - Blues get a penalty and opt for the goal. Sign of respect fro the Rebels there! Brett nails the kick through the tall North Harbour posts. Blues look dangerous on attack.
29 mins- Just end to end stuff from both sides. Ranger rips straight through the middle of the Rebels but is chopped down just outside the 22m.
24 mins - You guessed it, we have another try, the Rebels close the gap through Mitchell on the right wing. Try from nothing really, they worked down the right hand touch and simply out flanked the Rebels. A great conversion from Cipriani and it's close!
18 mins - And another! But this time the Rebels are in. Cooper Vuna busted his way through the middle of the Blues and dived over for a great solo try. That was weak from the Blues and the Rebels stay in touch. Video coming.
16 mins - This is getting hard to keep up! Blues in again, this time Joe Rokocoko diving over after some rubbish defending by the Rebels, Payne involved also putting Joe in space. Easy conversion for Brett and the Blues have a commanding lead and just one try away from the bonus.
12 mins - TRY Ranger has an early double! Lovely turnover from the Blues Loosies and Matthewson came away with the ball, he made a half break then put it on the foot. A perfectly weighted grubber and Ranger got the final toe ahead before diving over, video coming.
8 mins - A little knock on a the ruck and the attack breaks down.
6 mins - The Blues get some turnover ball and switch to attack mode, they look well up for this one tonight. The Last Post was played pre match, video coming of that also.
2 mins - Well I was wrong! TRY BLUES. Ranger brushes aside some weak Rebels defence and dives over for the first of the night, quality running from the Northland boy. Brett misses the kick from the touchline Blues up 5-0, VIDEO coming.
7:28pm - Just about ready to go and conditions are near on perfect just a little slippery underfoot. What are we thinking for first try?
We will bring you live commentary from 7:25pm, in the meantime watch Andrew Gourdie’s preview of tonight’s match.
Blues second five-eighth and All Blacks contender Luke McAlister has been relegated to the bench for their Super 15 rugby match against the Melbourne Rebels at the North Harbour Stadium in Auckland on Friday night.
McAlister, who has been in impressive form this season to push his claims for a return to the national side, has been replaced by former All Black Benson Stanley.
In two other changes to the starting lineup, lock Ali Williams, who has not featured since he injured a hamstring in the 22-22 draw with the Force on March 13 returns to the pack in place of Kurtis Haiu who suffered a head injury in the win over the Waratahs last Saturday. While All Blacks prop Tony Woodcock, who missed the 31-17 win at Eden Park, takes the place of try scorer Tevita Mailau after recovering from a calf injury.
Mailau moves the to bench, with Pauliasi Manu dropping out of the 22, while Toby Morland replaces Chris Smylie in the reserves.
Blues :15 Isaia Toeava, 14 Joe Rokocoko, 13 Jared Payne, 12 Benson Stanley, 11 Rene Ranger, 10 Stephen Brett, 9 Alby Mathewson, 8 Peter Saili, 7 Luke Braid, 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Ali Williams, 4 Anthony Boric, 3 John Afoa, 2 Keven Mealamu (c), 1 Tony Woodcock.
Reserves: 16 Tom McCartney, 17 Tevita Mailau, 18 Filo Paulo, 19 Chris Lowrey, 20 Toby Morland, 21 Luke McAlister, 22 Lachie Munro.
Melbourne Rebels :1 Rodney Blake, 2 Ged Robinson, 3 Greg Somerville, 4 Alister Campbell, 5 Hugh Pyle, 6 Jarrod Saffy, 7 Michael Lipman, 8 Gareth Delve (vc), 9 Nick Phipps, 10 Danny Cipriani, 11 Cooper Vuna, 12 Stirling Mortlock (c), 13.Julian Huxley , 14 Lachlan Mitchell ,15 Richard Kingi
Replacements : 16 Heath Tessmann, 17 Laurie Weeks, 18 Hoani Macdonald, 19 Tim Davidson, 20 Afusipa Taumoepeau , 21 James Hilgendorf, 22 Luke Rooney