The Blues are relieved powerhouse prop Ofa Tuungafasi has been let off by the Sanzaar judiciary and cleared to play in Super Rugby Aotearoa this weekend.
While hooker Kurt Eklund's reckless throw on Sevu Reece landed him a three week suspension, Tuungafasi's brutal cleanout of Scott Barrett won't require any further penalty than the yellow card he was dealt last weekend, and he has been named to come off the bench in the Auckland franchise's matchup with the Chiefs in Hamilton.
Assistant coach Daniel Halangahu is pleased the "right call" was made.
"I was surprised to see it upgraded to a red card, but we're extremely happy. We think the right thing [has been] done at the end," he says.
"The referee at the time got it right, the commission afterwards have got it right as well so really happy with the outcome. Having Ofa out there - it's given everyone a bit of a boost."
Tuungafasi's dangerous rucking work was one of many shortcomings for the Blues against the Crusaders at Eden Park. The hosts were on the wrong side of the penalty count and frequently coughed the ball up, failing to take advantage of opportunities against the competition's best.
"It was out of character from us on the weekend. Particularly a few that were what we'd call dumb penalties – not intelligent play [where] we weren't under huge pressure, but we still gave away a few," Halangahu says.
"We know that we need to be more clinical, we had opportunities and didn't take them so that's probably the focus for us."
The test to avoid back-to-back losses comes against a Chiefs side finally with a spring in their step, having finally broken their Super Rugby Aotearoa duck. The Waikato side did so in inspiring fashion, pulling off a 19-point comeback against the Hurricanes.
"They're probably improving in confidence levels and we need to keep them down," Halangahu says. "If we get any advantage we certainly need to take points from it early on."
The assistant coach has outlined in-form utility back Damian McKenzie as the most threatening player for them, who "after a pretty serious injury, is coming back to his best rugby".
"He does both [play first-five and fullback] really well. When he's moved to 10 they've look really good."
The Blues have recent history on their side winning the last two clashes, but prior to that, they were winless in 16 of the last 17.
The Blues are also buoyed by the returns of loosie Dalton Papalii and wing Mark Telea who missed last weekend's tussle due to concussion. They both enter the starting lineup, as does halfback Finlay Christie who gets his first start of the season.
For the Chiefs, coach Clayton McMillan has made three changes to the starting side that won in Wellington, highlighted by rookie lock Samipeni Finau being promoted to the starting lineup in place of All Black Tupou Vaa'i, who is ruled out due to concussion.
Sean Wainui will play his 50th Super Rugby game in place of Etene Nanai-Seturo on the left wing, while Shaun Stevenson comes in for Jonah Lowe on the right edge.
Blues: 15. Stephen Perofeta, 14. Mark Telea, 13. Rieko Ioane, 12. Harry Plummer, 11. Caleb Clarke, 10. Otere Black, 9. Finlay Christie, 8. Hoskins Sotutu, 7. Dalton Papalii, 6. Akira Ioane, 5. Josh Goodhue, 4. Patrick Tuipulotu (c), 3. Nepo Laulala, 2. Luteru Tolai, 1. Alex Hodgman
Reserves: 16. Leni Apisai, 17. Karl Tu'inukuafe, 18. Ofa Tuungafasi, 19. Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, 20. Tom Robinson, 21. Adrian Choat, 22. Jonathan Ruru, 23. TJ Faiane.
Chiefs: 15. Damian McKenzie, 14. Shaun Stevenson, 13. Anton Lienert-Brown, 12. Quinn Tupaea, 11. Sean Wainui, 10. Kaleb Trask, 9. Brad Weber, 8. Luke Jacobson, 7. Sam Cane, 6. Mitchell Brown, 5. Naitoa Ah Kuoi, 4. Samipeni Finau, 3. Angus Ta'avao, 2. Samisoni Taukei'aho, 1. Aidan Ross.
Reserves: 16. Bradley Slater, 17. Ollie Norris, 18. Reuben O'Neill, 19. Simon Parker, 20. Pita Gus Sowakula, 21. Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 22. Alex Nankivell, 23. Chase Tiatia