The Blues again showed the influence of former All Black coach Graham Henry as they smashed the Crusaders 34-15.
The five tries to nil romp showed the energy, commitment and continuity that teams coached by Henry produces.
Yes, John Kirwan may be the head coach, but Henry's hand was there for all to see.
The Blues completely dominated the first half - both in terms of territory and possession.
An early Dan Carter penalty was followed by the first try - Steven Luatua going over out wide after a solid build-up.
While Carter slotted a second penalty, the Blues had made their intentions clear and two Frank Halai tries started to take the game away from the Crusaders.
The second of those Halai tries came from a sublime cross-field kick by Chris Noakes.
Two late Carter penalties gave the Crusaders some hope at the break - 12-20.
Carter narrowed the gap to five points, with his fifth penalty, five minutes after the break.
However, a Luke Braid try as the game approached the final quarter - following some powerful pick-'n-drive raids - gave the Blues a 12-point buffer, 27-15.
And then the win was sealed when George Moala scored from a kick downfield that bounced favourably for Charles Piutau, who off-loaded to Moala. The conversion made it 34-15.
More to follow...
For the Blues:
Tries: Luatua, Halai 2, Braid, Moala
Cons: Weepu, Noakes 2
For the Crusaders:
Pens: Carter 5
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.
Crusaders: 15 Tom Taylor, 14 Adam Whitelock, 13 Robbie Fruean, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Israel Dagg, 10 Dan Carter, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Matt Todd, 6 George Whitelock, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Corey Flynn, 1 Wyatt Crockett.
Replacements: 16 Ben Funnell, 17 Joe Moody, 18 Dominic Bird, 19 Luke Whitelock, 20 Willi Heinz, 21 Tyler Bleyendaal, 22 Tom Marshall.
Referee: Chris Pollock (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Jonathon White (New Zealand), Sheldon Eden-Whaitiri (New Zealand)
TMO: Ben Skeen (New Zealand)
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