1 Jun 2019

Blues play-off hopes all but over

5:34 am on 1 June 2019

First five Harry Plummer missed a last-minute penalty attempt as the Blues were held to a nerve-jangling 22-22 draw by an undermanned Bulls side at Eden Park.

Blues lock Patrick Tuipulotu.


The result all but ends the Blues' faint hopes of a spot in the top-eight play-offs with two rounds left after the weekend.

The Bulls, missing Duane Vermeulen and Handre Pollard, were dragged back into the game by five-eighth Manie Libbok who grabbed their third try with five minutes left and converted it to level the scores.

The Bulls, who are provisionally fifth overall kept their play-offs hopes alive as they leapfrogged the Sharks into second place in the South African conference with 34 points, two points behind the leading Jaguares.

The Blues are fourth in the New Zealand conference, and 11th overall, on 28 points.

"We were our own undoing," lamented Blues captain Patrick Tuipulotu.

"There was bad execution at times and that cost us."

Bulls skipper Burger Odendaal was content with the two competition points given they could have lost at the death.

"We're basically happy with a draw," he said.

Both sides scored three tries each with Akira Ioane, Scott Scrafton and Ofa Tu'ungafasi touching down for the homeside.

The Blues are fourth in the New Zealand Conference with 28 points, one behind the Highlanders and 12 behind the Hurricanes.