20 Feb 2016

Kaino red card may force ban

8:47 am on 20 February 2016

The All Blacks forward Jerome Kaino might be forced to sit out the Blues' opening game of the new Super Rugby season next weekend against the Highlanders.

Jerome Kaino at his Blues' Super Rugby pre-season game against the Chiefs at Pukekohe, Friday 19th February 2016. Copyright Photo: Shane Wenzlick / www.photosport.nz

Jerome Kaino Photo: Photosport

Kaino was sent off in Friday's 24-12 trial win over the Chiefs at Pukekohe after being deemed to have punched Chiefs front-rower Pauliasi Manu, as the Blues made it three from three in the pre-season.

The two-time World Cup winner now awaits a New Zealand Rugby judicial hearing.

In the same game, Chiefs first five Aaron Cruden played for the first time since seriously injuring his knee 10 months ago.

Elsewhere, the Hurricanes thrashed the Crusaders 74-7 in Blenheim, running in 12 tries to one.

Reigning champions the Highlanders edged the New South Wales Waratahs 40-35 in Queenstown.