Blues 38-10 Brumbies, Eden Park
Auckland Blues came up with a five-try performance as they maintained their unbeaten streak in the ongoing Super Rugby Trans Tasman series with a 38-10 win over Brumbies at Eden Park.
This is the third win for Blues from as many games as they move to the top of the table with 15 points while Brumbies are at seventh with a solitary point.
Blues were awarded an early penalty in the third minute but Zarn Sullivan's kick went wide. Nevertheless, they managed to open their account in the 17th minute when hooker Kurt Eklund powered his way over at the back of a line out and Otere Black kicked the conversion to make it 7-0.
Brumbies' response came two minutes later with Noah Lolesio slotting a penalty goal reducing the gap down to four points. The Australian side continued to apply pressure on Blues and went on to seize the lead in the 34th minute Connal McInerney touched down at the back of a maul and Lolesio improved making it 7-10.
As the break was approaching, Blues scored their second try with Rieko Ioane providing a brilliant offload for Finlay Christie to dot down and Black kicked a penalty and a conversion on either side as the New Zealand side finished the opening half with a 17-10 lead.
Blues further extended their lead early in the second half when Bryce Heem went over after a quick tap on from Black, who kicked the conversion making it 24-10. The bonus point came at the end of the third quarter when AJ Lam touched down after creating a wide space and Black was once again spot on with the conversion making it 31-10.
Any chance of a Brumbies comeback was put off as they were down to 14 players in the final 10 minutes with Folau Fainga'a yellow carded for collapsing a maul and TJ Faiane capped off a fantastic game for the Blues with a fifth try in the 72nd minute as they completed a 28-point victory.
Team line up:
Blues: 15 Zarn Sullivan, 14 Bryce Heem, 13 Rieko Ioane, 12 TJ Faiane, 11 AJ Lam, 10 Otere Black, 9 Finlay Christie; 8 Hoskins Sotutu, 7 Dalton Papalii, 6 Tom Robinson, 5 Josh Goodhue, 4 Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, 3 Marcel Renata, 2 Kurt Eklund, 1 Karl Tu'inukuafe.
Reserves: 16 Soane Vikena, 17 Alex Hodgman, 18 Nepo Laulala, 19 Patrick Tuipulotu, 20 Akira Ioane, 21 Jonathan Ruru, 22 Harry Plummer, 23 Mark Telea.
Brumbies: 15 Tom Banks, 14 Solomone Kata, 13 Len Ikitau, 12 Irae Simone, 11 Tom Wright, 10 Noah Lolesio, 9 Nic White, 8 Henry Stowers, 7 Tom Cusack, 6 Rob Valetini, 5 Nick Frost, 4 Darcy Swain, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Connal McInerney, 1 Scott Sio.
Reserves: 16 Folau Fainga'a, 17 Harry Lloyd, 18 Sefo Kautai, 19 Tom Hooper, 20 Luke Reimer, 21 Ryan Lonergan, 22 Bayley Kuenzle, 23 Mack Hansen