Fulltime 32-17: Blues shut out Highlanders

updated By Te Ao - Māori News

The Blues were too high octane for the Highlanders in Sunday afternoon's game at Eden Park, racing out to a 17-3 half time lead before closing out the game 32-17.

The Highlanders converted a penalty goal early in the game but that was soon followed by a stunning opening try by the Blues' Otere Black, celebrating his 50th cap for the franchise.

Caleb Clarke scored the Blues second try of the half shortly before the 20-minute mark after Rieko Ioane sent Clark crashing over in the corner.

The best 'non-try' of the game was a sensational disallowed touch down by Rieko Ioane shortly before half-time after Akira Ioane raced down the touchline and fed an inside pass to his brother.

The first half ended 17-3 to the Blues.

The Blues were fast off the mark in the second half, touching down for a try to wing Emoni Narawa just three minutes in after the break. This was followed by another Blues try less than 10 minutes later, this time to hooker Kurt Eklund from a lineout drive. 29-3 to the Blues.

The Highlanders finally grabbed a try of their own, with hooker Ash Dixon crashing over following a lineout drive to make the score 29-10.

The Blues hit back with a try to Akira Ioane on 65 minutes after Emoni Narawa regathered a high kick. 39-10.

The Highlanders threw caution to the wind and were eventually rewarded with a try to scrum-half Folau Fakatava with less than 10 minutes to go.

By then there was too much ground for the Highlanders to make up and the game ended 39-17 to the Blues.

The Highlanders have a bye next week, while the Blues host the Crusaders at Eden Park.