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Super Rugby: Blues canter to bonus point win over Hurricanes
The Blues outclassed the Hurricanes for a second time in 2013 after sweeping past their New Zealand rivals 28-6 at Eden Park on Saturday.
Tries from Frank Halai, Charles Piutau, James Parsons and Tom McCartney earned a well-deserved bonus point for the hosts, as the Blues kept the tryless 'Canes scoreless in the second half.
The five points gained sees the Auckland outfit leapfrog the Hurricanes into second in the New Zealand conference.
Winger Frank Halai put the Blues on the board in the 13th minute, cantering under the posts after some sharp work upfield from scrum-half Piri Weepu, full-back Charles Piutau and fly-half Chris Noakes.
Noakes converted and the Blues kept the Hurricanes scoreless for nearly half an hour until Samoan international fly-half Tusi Pisi marked his first start for the Super Rugby side with a drop-goal against the run of play.
Beauden Barrett, shifted from fly-half to full-back, brought the Hurricanes back within a point with a penalty but the Blues ramped up the pressure towards the end of the half.
Flanker Luatua barged through four tackles and was held up on the line but the pressure then eventually told just before the interval when Piutau crashed over after a five-metre scrum.
Hooker James Parsons linked up with Noakes straight after the break to extend Blues' lead to 19-6 and, after a fumble from Piutau with the try-line beckoning, Tom McCartney added an inevitable bonus point score on 57 minutes.
The Blues defended stoutly for the remainder of the match, with Luatua capping an impressive game by holding up replacement back Reynold Lee-lo to keep the Hurricanes scoreless.