• Blues batter Reds

    The Blues ran in five tries to score a convincing 44-14 victory over the Reds in Auckland on Friday.

    The result was never in doubt, with the hosts running up a 34-0 lead before the Reds added some respectability to the scoreline with two second-half tries.

    Most of the damage was done during a 10-minute period following James Slipper's yellow card for a tip tackle on Frank Halai.

    It was another timid performance from the Reds, who didn't manage one clean break throughout the game.

    Ma'a Nonu shone once again for the Blues, having a hand in each of the Blues first three tries, while Simon Hickey contributed 17 points from the boot in a flawless kicking performance.

    The Blues must be considered play-off contenders now, with the win moving them above the Chiefs. Meanwhile, the Reds remain rooted to the foot of the Australian conference.

    Blues – Tries: Jackson Willison, Lolagi Visinia, Bryn Hall, Tom Donnelly, Ihaia West. Conversions: Simon Hickey (4), Ihaia West. Penalties: Hickey (3).
    Reds – Tries: Ben Daley, James Horwill. Conversions: Quade Cooper (2).

    Blues – 15 Charles Piutau, 14 Frank Halai, 13 Jackson Willison, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Lolagi Visinia, 10 Simon Hickey, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Jerome Kaino, 7 Brendon O'Connor, 6 Peter Saili, 5 Tom Donnelly, 4 Patrick Tuipulotu, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 Keven Mealamu (c), 1 Tony Woodcock.

    Subs: 16 James Parsons, 17 Ofa Tu'ungafasi, 18 Angus Ta'avao, 19 Hayden Triggs, 20 Piri Weepu, 21 Steven Luatua, 22 Ihaia West, 23 George Moala.

    Reds – 15 Mike Harris, 14 Chris Feauai-Sautia, 13 Ben Tapuai, 12 Anthony Fainga’a, 11 Rod Davies, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia, 8 Jake Schatz, 7 Liam Gill, 6 Eddie Quirk, 5 James Horwill (c), 4 Rob Simmons, 3 Greg Holmes, 2 Saia Fainga’a, 1 James Slipper.

    Subs: 16 James Hanson, 17 Ben Daley, 18 Jono Owen, 19 Ed O’Donoghue, 20 Beau Robinson, 21 Nick Frisby, 22 Ben Lucas, 23 Jamie-Jerry Taulagi.

    Match centre

    Photo: Phil Walter/Getty Images