At least the Blues are offering variation this year and having spent several seasons never being able to win away, they have now reached June without a single home victory in 2018.

Whether this is a new low or not is hard to tell because they have set so many in the last few years, many of which have come in the last few months.

But it is certainly a fairly awful place for them to be – winless at Eden Park and the competition about to break for the test window.

And on the basis of what they offered against the Rebels, it's a safe enough bet to back them to go all the way through the season without winning at home.


They never looked remotely likely to beat the Rebels. They were hesitant and jittery from the start. There was no control, no authority or belief.

The biggest problem with the Blues is that they don't have a supreme commander in chief – a no nonsense, clear-headed, bold character that ensures they play with obvious conviction and direction.

It looked like once again they drifted in thought and execution for long periods. They always seemed to be carrying a few passengers – a handful of players that wanted to contribute and be involved but just don't really know how to go about doing it.

It meant that once again they appeared to be lacking urgency and intensity which isn't because they lack interest or heart, it's because they lack confidence.

Perhaps it is confidence in themselves they are missing but it is compounded by a lack of confidence in what they should be doing and the Blues couldn't deliver the most basic aspects of their game.

Not for any meaningful length of time or in the right places on the field.

Their lineout went awry whenever they were hoping to set up for the driving maul. Their defence didn't hold firm when the Rebels indulged in a little of the unexpected and the Blues basics of pass and catch were only good up to a point.

They just couldn't hold on to the ball for long enough or pick the right runner after they had created the space. And the wild pass to no one by Michael Collins in the last act of the game summed it all up.


As for the Blues discipline…awful. They conceded a stream of penalties all game most of them for needless offences.

They held on to the ball on the ground. They came round the wrong side of the ruck. They crept offside. They flopped over the ball when they probably were going to win it anyway and every time they were pinged, Rebels first-five Reece Hodge would boom the ball down the field and force the Blues to start all over again.

When they were under pressure, everything wilted and they couldn't keep the Rebels subdued in their own half or staring at a scoreboard they didn't like.

The Rebels, not one of the heavyweights of this competition, were at least good enough to capitalise on the chaos faced.

Hodge's boot did plenty of damage and Billy Meakes was a menace in the midfield but most credit should go to their pack, while a bit wobbly in the scrum, were well ahead in every other department.

And perhaps the saddest thing of all to contemplate is that a team as mediocre as the Rebels can come to Eden Park with no fear, and even feel a little disappointed that they left with only a 10-point victory margin.

Rebels 20 (B. Meakes (2), D. Haylett-Petty tries; R. Hodge pen, con)
Blues 10 (T. Hepetema tries; S. Perofeta con, pen)