The Auckland franchise has a small chance of winning the competition. Second in Super Rugby Aotearoa, the Auckland Blues largely did the job on Sunday morning with an enhanced victory on the Highlanders (32-21). Led 13-12 at the half-hour mark, the Auckland franchise accelerated with tests from Faiane (13-17, 31st), Tu’ungafasi (13-24, 40th + 1) and Christie (13-29 , 43rd). Despite a test conceded at the end of the game, the Blues preserved their offensive bonus. Thanks to this success, they have 22 points in the standings, two units behind the leaders, the Crusaders, which however have one game less. If the latter dominate the Highlanders in a week – the Blues are exempt next week – they will therefore be sure to win the competition. Otherwise, there could be some sort of final on the final day with a direct showdown between the Blues and Crusaders at Eden Park.