Auckland - The Blues turned in a
powerhouse performance to humble the Hurricanes 28-6 in their
Super Rugby match at Eden Park on Saturday.
The Blues were well
served by their forwards, with blindside flank Steven Luatua in
inspirational form, sealing a bonus point with their fourth try with 20
minutes to spare and keeping their opponents try-less.
Hurricanes, beaten at home 34-20 in the teams' first encounter of the
season, were dominated on all fronts and kept scoreless for the entire
second half, denied repeatedly by desperate Blues defence on the last
The Blues' emphatic win kept them in touch with the New
Zealand conference-leading Chiefs, who were upset by the
Reds in Hamilton, as the season nears the halfway mark.
Wing Frank Halai put the Blues on the board in the 13th minute, cantering
under the posts after some sharp work upfield from scrumhalf Piri Weepu,
fullback Charles Piutau and flyhalf Chris Noakes.
converted and the Blues kept the Hurricanes scoreless for nearly half an
hour until Samoan international flyhalf Tusi Pisi marked his first
start for the Super Rugby side with a poised drop goal against the run
Beauden Barrett, shifted from flyhalf to fullback,
brought the Hurricanes back within a point with a penalty but the Blues
ramped up the pressure towards the end of the half.
Flanker Luatua barged through four tackles and charged for the line but was held up by Hurricanes scrumhalf TJ Perenara.
was a brief reprieve, however, as fullback Charles Piutau swooped to
plant the ball over the line on the stroke of halftime after receiving
from the five-metre scrum.
Hooker James Parsons added to the
Hurricanes' pain by thundering over near the left corner a few minutes
after the break after taking a perfectly-weighted inside pass from
Noakes to pad the score to 19-6.
Piutau squandered a gilt-edged
chance for a second try in the 57th minute when he fumbled a dribbled
ball when diving over the line but prop Tom McCartney made up for it
with the Blues' fourth a few minutes later, burrowing under the
Wellington defence for a try under the posts.
The Blues defended
stoutly for the remaining 20 minutes, with Luatua capping a barnstorming
game by holding up replacement back Reynold Lee-lo to keep the
Hurricanes scoreless and improve his chances of All Blacks selection.