Blues rest Tele’a, Tuipulotu and Sotutu while Perofeta returns from injury

Blues rest Tele’a, Tuipulotu and Sotutu while Perofeta returns from injury

By Alipate Narawa
Saturday 18/05/2024
Photo: Planet Rugby

The Blues have won eight successive matches and last Saturday night’s huge 31-27 victory over the Hurricanes in Auckland lifted them to first in the standings, with the Crusaders (away) and the Chiefs (home) to come after the Highlanders visit Eden Park.

Without Patrick Tuipulotu, Hoskins Sotutu, Mark Tele’a (all rested) and the luckless Zarn Sullivan (knee) injured, Stephen Perofeta’s comeback to the bench after a shoulder injury helps to somewhat offset those absentees.

The Highlanders who have won three in a row after a wretched five-match losing streak and are a good position to return to the play-offs, starting round 13 in seventh, after missing out last year.

They also host the Swire Shipping Fijian Drua next week before playing the Hurricanes away the following week.

The southerners have named an unchanged line-up and seem settled after beating the Crusaders 32-29 in Dunedin last Saturday for one of their best victories in their underwhelming recent history.

Blues coach Vern Cotter says the Highlanders are on a positive climb results-wise and performance-wise and name an unchanged team.

Cotter says they’ve got a reason to play well.

Highlanders coach Clarke Dermody says they were happy with how the team executed the plan last week and they have all retained their spots,

Dermody says this is a new week and a new challenge, they have reset and are working hard in getting their preparation right for this weekend.

The Blues host the Highlanders at 7.05 tonight.

In the other game tonight, the Force take on the Waratahs.


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