Blues blitz Crusaders

The Blues scored four tries to defeat the Crusaders 35-24 in Auckland on Friday.

The Crusaders looked to have found form following their disappointing loss to the Chiefs when a try from hooker Corey Flynn set them on their way.

They were well on top at this point as the Blues' sluggish starts to games looked set to cost them again, which it did on 33 minutes when Colin Slade went through a gap from 5m out off a set piece.

But then came the start of an incredible turnaround in fortunes as Frank Halai showed his pace before stepping inside for the Blues' first try, with fellow winger Tevita Li reducing the margin to two points when he raced down the left from the restart. George Moala then pounced on a loose ball to get the Blues’ third try.

Piri Weepu's smart grubber off a scrum 5m out saw Jackson Willison get the bonus-point try and Simon Hickey added the extras to make it 29-17 just seven minutes into the second half.

The Crusaders did hit back through a Ryan Crotty try, but it wasn’t enough to give them a losing bonus point.

Blues – Tries: Frank Halai, Tevita Li, George Moala, Jackson Willison. Conversions: Simon Hickey (3). Penalties: Hickey (3). 
Crusaders – Tries: Corey Flynn, Colin Slade, Ryan Crotty. Conversions: Tom Taylor (3). Penalties: Taylor. 

Blues – 15 Charles Piutau, 14 Frank Halai, 13 George Moala, 12 Jackson Willison, 11 Tevita Li, 10 Simon Hickey, 9 Piri Weepu, 8 Peter Saili, 7 Luke Braid, 6 Steven Luatua, 5 Tom Donnelly, 4 Patrick Tuipulotu, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 James Parsons, 1 Sam Prattley.
Subs: 16 Keven Mealamu, 17 Tony Woodcock, 18 Angus Ta'avao, 19 Liaki Moli, 20 Brendon O'Connor, 21 Bryn Hall, 22 Benji Marshall, 23 Pita Ahki.

Crusaders – 15 Colin Slade, 14 Rob Thompson, 13 Rey Lee-Lo, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Nafi Tuitavake, 10 Tom Taylor, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Kieran Read (c), 7 Richie McCaw, 6 George Whitelock, 5 Dominic Bird, 4 Sam Whitelock, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Corey Flynn, 1 Tim Perry.
Subs: 16 Ben Funnell, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Nepo Laulala, 19 Luke Romano, 20 Matt Todd, 21 Willi Heinz, 22 Adam Whitelock, 23 Israel Dagg.

Photo: Sandra Mu/Getty Images