1 Mar 2014

Blues rally to repel Crusaders invasion at Eden Park

6:12 am on 1 March 2014

A rampant Blues side scored four tries in 13 minutes to overcome an early deficit and storm to a 35-24 victory against the Crusaders at Eden Park, the hosts first win of the Super Rugby season.

The Crusaders remain winless in their first two games and are sweating on the fitness of All Black captain Richie McCaw after the openside suffered a suspected fractured thumb in the loss.

The visitors charged out to a 17-3 lead courtesy of tries from hooker Corey Flynn and fullback Colin Slade in the first half-hour but were left stunned as the Blues hit back with two tries on either side of halftime.

Superbly marshalled by halfback Piri Weepu, the Blues reeled in the Crusaders with tries by wingers Frank Halai and Tevita Li to trail by just two points at the break, before midfielders George Moala and Jackson Willison helped the home side surge ahead with two quick touchdowns after the interval.

Centre Ryan Crotty scored a late try to flatter the scoreline for the Crusaders.

First-five Simon Hickey booted three penalties and three conversions to record a 15-point haul for the Blues, whose four-try tally secured a bonus point.