Crusaders 26-15 Blues, Orangetheory Stadium
Crusaders registered their fourth consecutive win as they consolidated their top place in the Super Rugby Aotearoa with a 26-15 victory over Auckland Blues at Orangetheory Stadium.
This was also Blues' first defeat in the tournament in four matches as they continue to remain second.
Hoskins Sotutu and Mark Telea, who recently signed contract extensions with Blues gave a head start to the side. Sotutu charged at Crusaders' defence but was held up before the try line. From the resulting 5m scrum, Telea ensured he crossed over the line for the opening try in the 10th minute and Otere Black followed with the conversion.
Crusaders dominated the possession in the remainder of the first half and made most of the infringements made by Blues as Richie Mo'unga kicked back to back penalties in the 28th and 31st minutes to ensure the gap between the two teams came down to one point at the end of the first half.
The start of the second half saw Black and Mo'unga trade penalties taking the scoreline to 9-10 before Rieko Ioane's try in the 55th minute increased the visitors' lead to six points.
Crusaders were resilient and seized the lead back in the 61st minute when George Bridge sent Mitch Drummond over the line while Mo'unga kicked the conversion and penalty to make it 19-15 before Will Jordan came off the bench to score in the 75th minute to complete a 11-point win for Scott Robertson's men.
Crusaders will get a bye in the sixth round while Blues will face Hurricanes next on 18th July at Sky Stadium.