New Blues coach John Kirwan got his career at the Auckland franchise off to a winning start, when they recorded a comfortable 34-20 win over the Hurricanes.
The four-tries-to-two bonus-point win showed the three-time former champions are going to be a real force under the guidance of the former All Black wing - who has World Cup-winning former All Black coach Graham Henry among his backroom staff.
The Hurricanes may not have been as clinical as they would have liked with their attacks in the first half, but with territorial dominance (they spent more than 70 percent of the time in the Blues' half) they kept control of the game.
Despite their lack of possession and territory, the Blues still managed to produce better gainline stats in the first half - making it over gain line from contact and kick situations more than 80 percent of the time, while the Hurricanes were in the mid 70s with their gainline stats.
After the break the Blues started to get more possession and with the Hurricanes' hands also letting them down, allowing the Blues to take command.
The Canes also did not help their own cause with some very poor option taking, poor handling and defence, 20-odd missed tackles and their knock-ons also into double figures.
Piri Weepu opened the scoring with an early penalty, before Beauden Barrett replied with two of his own.
It took more than 20 minutes for the first try - which went to Frank Halai of the Blues, after George Moala busted over the opposition and off-loaded to Rene Ranger, who threw a great pass to Halai. Weepu failed with this conversion, but the Blues were back in the lead - 8-6.
The Hurricanes didn't take long to respond, Julian Savea going over in the left corner after some great handling by the Canes - who took the ball to the right, before quick recycling and sublime handling created the extra space for Savea on the left. Barrett added the extras - 13-8, with 13 minutes of the first half remaining.
Weepu had a late chance to close the gap, with his kick from near halfway sneaking over the crossbar - 13-11 at the break.
The Blues turned down an early opportunity for a penalty shot at goal and while, initially, they didn't get reward, they stuck to their guns and in the 50th minute Charles Piutau went over for a well-worked try - coming after they had hammered away at the Hurricanes defence for a good five minutes and multiple phases in which Piri Weepu was very prominent with his distribution skills. Weepu was again off target with the conversion attempt - 16-13 to the Blues.
However, the game was turned on its head soon afterwards, when Frank Halai was yellow carded for deliberately knocking the ball over the deadball line. The resulting penalty try and conversion, by Barrett, saw the Hurricanes regain the lead - 20-16.
Weepu made it a one-point game with a penalty right on the hour mark - 19-20.
And then the Blues launched another furious raid on the Hurricanes line, taking the ball patiently through the phases till Rene Ranger worked his way over with brute force and several tacklers hanging on. Weepu still struggled with his kicking - 24-20 to the Blues.
Try as they might - and the Hurricanes came within inches of the Blues' line - the home team failed to get back on the board. In fact the Blues won a turnover on their own line and launched a huge counter that ended with Frank Halai going over in the right corner for the bonus-point try. Weepu finally slotted a conversion - 31-20 with under four minutes left on the clock.
Weepu added a penalty for good measure right on the full-time hooter - 34-20.
For the Hurricanes:
Tries: Savea, Penalty try
Cons: Barrett 2
Pens: Barrett 2
For the Blues:
Tries: Halai 2, Piutau, Ranger
Pens: Weepu 3
Yellow card: Frank Halai (Blues, 55 - professional foul, preventing a probable try)
Hurricanes: 15 Andre Taylor, 14 Alapati Leiua, 13 Conrad Smith (captain), 12 Tim Bateman, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Brad Shields, 7 Karl Lowe, 6 Victor Vito, 5 Jason Eaton, 4 Jeremy Thrush, 3 Ben May, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Ben Franks.
Replacements: 16 Ash Dixon, 17 Reggie Goodes, 18 Mark Reddish, 19 Faifili Levave, 20 Chris Smylie, 21 James Marshall, 22 Reynold Lee-Lo.
Blues: 15 Charles Piutau, 14 Frank Halai, 13 Rene Ranger, 12 Francis Saili, 11 George Moala, 10 Chris Noakes, 9 Piri Weepu, 8 Peter Saili, 7 Luke Braid, 6 Steven Luatua, 5 Ali Williams (captain), 4 Culum Retallick, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 James Parsons, 1 Tom McCartney.
Replacements: 16 Quentin MacDonald, 17 Angus Ta'avao, 18 Liaki Moli, 19 Brendon O'Connor, 20 Bryn Hall, 21 Baden Kerr, 22 Jackson Willison.
Referee: Glen Jackson (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Garratt Williamson (New Zealand), Nick Briant (New Zealand)
TMO: Vinny Munro (New Zealand)
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