All Blacks selection winners and losers after the Blues triumph in the Super Rugby Pacific final

all blacks selection winners and losers after the blues triumph in the super rugby pacific final

Split with Patrick Tuipulotu and Shaun Stevenson.

It was a dream final for the Blues who ended a 21-year wait for a Super Rugby title after they dispatched the Chiefs 41-10 at Eden Park in the season finale.

The performance from the Aucklanders was outstanding and concluded the last game before Scott Robertson names the first squad of his tenure at the helm of the All Blacks.

With that in mind, we take a closer look at the winners and losers from the Super Rugby Pacific final in terms of their All Blacks chances.

Winners

A hat-trick in a final is an absolute dream and Caleb Clarke deserved it. Throughout he put his hand up to carry, looked for work and ultimately got the job done on the biggest club stage available. He was likely already in Razor’s squad but this could throw him in the mix to start. If Robertson wants a bigger, more bruising winger as part of his structures he certainly has his man.

Finlay Christie had a bit of an interrupted season with injury, perhaps missing the chance to stake a strong claim for an All Blacks starting spot but the scrum-half was brilliant today. He was assured, confident and pure in just about everything he did which should be enough to earn his place in the squad yet again.

One of the biggest winners was Patrick Tuipulotu who remarkably returned from injury far before forecasted and was a colossus for his team. It was the kind of shift that proves he is ready to go and surely an All Blacks spot awaits.

Ricky Riccitelli has been so consistent this season and was brilliant yet again tonight. With Samisoni Taukei’aho out injured, there is a chance the Blue could come in as a third choice behind Codie Taylor and Asafo Aumua.

Finally for the Blues is AJ Lam who has looked really nice in the centres of late and was rewarded for his hard work with a try. The centre picture is not simple and depth may rule him out but Lam certainly did his name proud in the final.

No one wants to lose a final but some Chiefs really stood up on defence in this one. Rising star Wallace Sititi didn’t get many chances to carry but made a game-high 22 tackles in a mammoth effort. He really does look the part. Luke Jacobson was massive with 19 tackles of his own with Tupou Vaa’i hitting the same numbers.

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Losers

Where there are winners there must be losers and unfortunately for the Chiefs Shaun Stevenson is in this category. The elusive runner made a few sloppy errors in the backfield and failed to make much of an impact.

Of course, the conditions were not favourable and the momentum was not in their favour but some small things like keeping it clean with fielding long kicks needed to be better and could count against Stevenson for the All Blacks picture.

Almost a copy and paste for Etene Nanai-Seturo who at times just made some really basic errors, with the most costly that kick out on the full as the Chiefs were trying to turn the game. It is a tough call all things considered but he was a shell of his form coming in.

Lastly, the two Chiefs props George Dyer and Aidan Ross were bombarded at scrum time which is one of the areas where the Blues controlled the game. Unfortunately for the front-rowers it was a tough day at the office.

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