Zinzan Brooke scored the decisive try as his 1996 Blues team proved too strong for the 2013 Chiefs in Game 13 of the interactive Greatest Super Rugby Team tournament.
SA Rugby magazine readers dived into Game 13 of the 32-team knockout tournament, with the home side claiming the victory after 71% of voters backed them to win by between six and 10 points at Eden Park.
The result eliminates the 2013 Chiefs from the tournament, while the 1996 Blues advance to the round of 16, where they will face the winner of Game 14.
In a tightly contested match, the Blues went into the break 14-10 ahead thanks to a brace from superstar wing Jonah Lomu. The Chiefs kept themselves in the contest as Asaeli Tikoirotuma scored under the posts, with flyhalf Aaron Cruden adding a penalty and conversion.
The second half continued in this pattern as the two sides went toe to toe, but neither could find a way through each other’s defence before the 60th minute. It was then that hooker Hika Elliot scored from a driving maul to give the Chiefs hope of an upset.
However, Captain Courageous Zinzan Brooke stood up tall for his team and finished off a flowing move started by a midfield break from Lomu, with fullback Adrian Cashmore completing a perfect day off the kicking tee to give the Blues a 21-15 victory.
1996 Blues – Tries: Jonah Lomu (2), Zinzan Brooke. Conversions: Adrian Cashmore (3).
2013 Chiefs – Tries: Asaeli Tikoirotuma, Hika Elliot. Conversion: Aaron Cruden. Penalty: Cruden.
1996 Blues – 15 Adrian Cashmore, 14 Joeli Vidiri, 13 Eroni Clarke, 12 Johnny Ngauamo, 11 Jonah Lomu, 10 Carlos Spencer, 9 Ofisa Tonu’u, 8 Zinzan Brooke (c), 7 Andrew Blowers, 6 Michael Jones, 5 Charles Riechelmann, 4 Robin Brooke, 3 Olo Brown, 2 Sean Fitzpatrick, 1 Craig Dowd.
Subs: 16 Lee Stensness, 17 Cameron Rackham, 18 Michael Scott, 19 Jason Chandler, 20 Kevin Nepia, 21 Andrew Roose.
Coach: Graham Henry
2013 Chiefs – 15 Gareth Anscombe, 14 Lelia Masaga, 13 Charlie Ngatai, 12 Andrew Horrell, 11 Asaeli Tikoirotuma, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 8 Matt Vant Leven, 7 Tanerau Latimer, 6 Liam Messam, 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Craig Clarke (c), 3 Ben Tameifuna, 2 Hika Elliot, 1 Toby Smith.
Subs: 16 Rhys Marshall, 17 Ben Afeaki, 18 Michael Fitzgerald, 19 Sam Cane, 20 Augustine Pulu, 21 Bundee Aki, 22 Robbie Robinson.
Coach: Dave Rennie