Blues blown away by Hurricanes
Blues suffer yet another defeat as Hurricanes claim bonus point
Last Updated: 04/05/12 11:46am
The Hurricanes sealed a 35-19 bonus-point victory against the Blues to remain in touch with the leading trio in New Zealand's conference.
Mark Hammett's side ran in five tries on their way to a convincing success which puts them on 30 points - nine off pace-setters the Chiefs, four off the Highlanders and three from the Crusaders.
Meanwhile, the reverse represented a ninth defeat in ten games for the Blues for whom Piri Weepu kicked four penalties against his former side.
It was Weepu who opened the scoring with a fifth-minute penalty, but the Hurricanes - who were themselves coming off a defeat - hit back shortly afterwards when Cory Jane diverted a high-ball from Beauden Barrett into the path of Conrad Smith who touched down.
Barrett had missed the conversion but later added three points from the kicking tee either side of two attempts from the man replacing Gareth Anscombe at fly-half, Michael Hobbs.
Weepu too was in good form with the boot, and also around the field, and kicked his side into a 12-8 lead by the half-hour point with three further penalties as the Blues produced a disciplined and structured performance.
Crucial Taylor try
But their game-plan began to come apart when Jane broke out from his own 22, handed off a chaser and offloaded to Andre Taylor who again demonstrated his speed to find the whitewash in the right corner.
Barrett missed the conversion but made amends just two minutes from half-time when striking his second penalty from 35 metres out to make it 16-12 at the break.
The second period started slowly, but came to life after Julian Savea was denied a try in the corner by the video official. The winger's disappointment at that call did not last long, though, as another silky combination with Barrett saw him dive over on 58 minutes.
Barrett's conversion struck the post to leave the scoreline at 21-12 with just over 20 minutes remaining, but the home side put the game to bed on 67 minutes.
Number eight Victor Vito picked up from the base of a scrum and popped up to scrum-half TJ Perenara who showed good strength to force his way over.
Benson Stanley did restore some pride for the Blues when he touched down seven minutes from time for a try that Lachie Munro converted, but the final word went to the Hurricanes when second-rower Jason Eaton rumbled over in the dying moments.