Super Rugby: Blues run in four tries as they come from behind to beat the Highlanders
Last Updated: 05/04/13 10:54am
Piri Weepu ran in two second-half tries as the Blues came from behind to beat the Highlanders
The Blues returned to winning ways at Eden Park on Friday as they emerged 29-18 victors against a winless Highlanders side.
Two second-half tries from Blues scrum-half Piri Weepu saw the home side overturn their half-time deficit and pull clear of the visitors after losing their last two fixtures.
Sir John Kirwan's Blues also secured a crucial bonus point by outscoring their New Zealand rivals four tries to two moving them into the top half of the Super Rugby standings.
Meanwhile, the Highlanders remain locked at the foot of the table after losing all of their matches this season.
The visitors were in control for long periods of the first half as they reached the interval with a 13-12 lead over the Blues.
An early try from full-back Ben Smith and two penalties kicked by Colin Slade gave the Highlanders the advantage.
The Blues were allowed back into the first half however when Ma'a Nonu was sent to the sin bin for a shoulder charge giving the hosts a numerical advantage.
Two tries in nine minutes from flanker Steven Luatua and hooker Angus Ta'avao reduced the Highlanders' lead leaving the match well poised at half-time.
Weepu crossed the line to put Blues in control of the game just before the hour as the Highlanders squandered numerous opportunities to crush the home side.
The inspired introduction of scrum-half Fumiaki Tanaka and Phil Burleigh by Highlanders coach Jamie Joseph paid dividends as the duo combined with the latter touching down to put the visitors within one point.
Slade's failure to convert left the door open for the Blues to capitalise with Chris Noake kicking a successful penalty to give the Blues a 22-18 lead.
Skilful play and impressive footwork from Rene Ranger paved the way for Weepu to score his second try and seal a convincing victory for the Blues.