Piri Weepu and Rene Ranger starred as the Blues saw off the Highlanders 29-18 at Eden Park.
It was not until the last 10 minutes of the game that there was any certainty about the outcome, and that was achieved by two carbon-copy tries from Weepu during an 11-minute spell in the second half.
On both occasions the ball was worked to Ranger, who was able to ghost along the sideline, sucking in the defence, before flicking the ball inside where Weepu was waiting to take the ball and run in for the try. Steven Luatua and Angus Ta'avao also crossed for the Blues.
Ben Smith and Phil Burleigh were the try-scorers for the visitors.
A late Cornell Du Preez try earned the Southern Kings a hard-earned 28-28 draw in an enthralling clash with the Brumbies at Canberra Stadium.
Du Preez crossed for the second time in the match in added time, leaving replacement fly-half Demetri Catrakilis to seal a share of the spoils with a nerveless conversion.