Vodacom Super Rugby
Classy Blues batter Crusaders
Blues v Crusaders (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - The Blues reinforced their Super Rugby credentials in 2013 with a bruising victory over the Crusaders in their all-New Zealand derby in Auckland on Friday.
The Blues won 34-15 after leading 20-12 at half-time.
The Blues scored five tries through flanks Steven Luatua and Luke Braid and wings Frank Halai (2) and George Moala. Scrumhalf Piri Weepu was on target with a penalty and two conversions, while replacement Baden Kerr added a conversion as well.
The seven-time champion Crusaders replied with five Dan Carter penalties.
The Blues picked up their second consecutive full-house of five points following their victory over the Highlanders in Round 2, and moved to the top of both the New Zealand Conference and Overall standings.
The Crusaders left empty-handed and failed to add to their four log points earned for their bye last weekend.
In next weekend's Round 4 action, the Blues host the Bulls in Auckland while the Crusaders travel to Wellington to play the Hurricanes. Teams:Blues:
15 Charles Piutau, 14 Frank Halai, 13 Rene Ranger, 12
Francis Saili, 11 George Moala, 10 Chris Noakes, 9 Piri Weepu, 8 Peter
Saili, 7 Luke Braid, 6 Steven Luatua, 5 Ali Williams (captain), 4 Culum
Retallick, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 James Parsons, 1 Tom McCartney
16 Quentin MacDonald, 17 Angus Ta'avao, 18 Liaki Moli, 19 Brendon
O'Connor, 20 Bryn Hall, 21 Baden Kerr, 22 Jackson WillisonCrusaders:
Tom Taylor, 14 Adam Whitelock, 13 Robbie Fruean, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11
Israel Dagg, 10 Dan Carter, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7
Matt Todd, 6 George Whitelock, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Owen
Franks, 2 Corey Flynn, 1 Wyatt Crockett
Substitutes: 16 Ben
Funnell, 17 Joe Moody, 18 Dominic Bird, 19 Luke Whitelock, 20 Willi
Heinz, 21 Tyler Bleyendaal, 22 Tom Marshall