February 12 - 2010 Hurricanes defeat Blues in season opener

The Blues opened their 2010 Super 14 season in Albany with a home match against the Hurricanes. The Blues featured a number of All Blacks including the front row of John Afoa, Keven Mealamu and Tony Woodcock. The Hurricanes had two All Blacks in their front row with Andrew Hore and Neemia Tialata. The stand out loose forward in either pack was Jerome Kaino for the Blues. In the backline the Blues had Joe Rokococo and Isaia Toeava whereas the Hurricanes featured the legendary pairing of Ma’a Nonu and Conrad Smith inside Cory Jane and Hosea Gear. Giving good service was the All Blacks halfback, Piri Weepu.

A good crowd of 23,000 turned out for a match dominated by penalties. The Blues dominated the scoreboard in the first half through Stephen Brett who scored a try and set up another for a 17-6 lead.

The Hurricanes scored just the one try, an intercept when Hosea Gear latched on to an ill-directed Stephen Brett pass. Pressure began to tell though, with first five Willie Ripia and back-up Piri Weepu kicking nine penalty goals between them to eventually win 34 -20.

The match was notable for being the debut of future All Black Aaron Cruden, who came on as a replacement for Ripia.

The 2010 Super 14 season was won by South Africa side, the Bulls. The Blues finished 7th and the Hurricanes 8th, in a balanced mid-table result. The Crusaders were the only New Zealand side to make the top four however lost their semi-final match.

Welcome to Super Rugby! Blues forward Jerome Kaino fends off debutante Aaron Cruden in the second half.