Blues hammer Reds
The Blues claimed their second successive Australian scalp on Friday with a thumping 44-14 victory over the Queensland Reds to maintain their perfect record at Eden Park this season.
The Blues put the NSW Waratahs to the sword last week and were just as clinical in their five-tries-to-two performance against the Reds, who are enduring their worst campaign since 2009.
The home side were 20-0 up by half-time after tries from Jackson Willison and Lolagi Visinia and had the bonus point wrapped up with just over 50 minutes gone thanks to two more five-pointers to Bryn Hall and Tom Donnelly.
Replacement Ihaia West converted his own score just minutes before full-time to cap off an impressive night from the Blues.
Simon Hickey had a perfect night with the boot, adding 17 points from three penalties and four conversions.
The win lifted the Blues off the bottom of the New Zealand conference ahead of the Crusaders' match against the Brumbies on Saturday.
Ma'a Nonu was again hugely influential for the home team. His looping pass set up the opening try for Willison and his deft stab kick gave Visinia, who had been well marshalled up to that point, a simple touchdown.
Nonu was quickly back in the action after the break and burst through a gap between Saia Fainga'a and James Horwill to set up Hall for his try.
Donnelly's five-pointer came after a slick, flowing move upfield and a strong run from Frank Halai.
The big winger was eventually stopped by Will Genia, who was the Reds best player, but popped up the pass for Donnelly who barged over.
At that point it looked dire for the Reds, who had been their own worst enemies with poor discipline and poor ball-retention. Quade Cooper, playing his 100th game for Queensland, had also missed two early penalty chances.
But with Blues prop Tony Woodcock in the sin-bin for throwing a punch, replacement prop Ben Daley was driven over in a maul in the 53rd minute to finally get the visitors on the board.
Skipper Horwill also barged over from close range, but it was far too little far too late.
Earlier, Reds front-rower James Slipper had endured 10 minutes in the bin for a dangerous tackle on Peter Saili and the Blues had made the most of the man advantage as Visinia and Hall grabbed their tries.
But the visitors did not enjoy much luck either with Liam Gill, back in the starting side after five weeks out with a hamstring injury, and Jake Schatz both being denied tries by TMO Glenn Newman, who also denied Blues back George Moala a late score.
The Reds also lost Chris Feauai-Sautia to injury after he attempted to prevent Visinia scoring his try.
The Blues did not escape unscathed either with Willison, who was a late replacement for Francis Saili (ankle), limping off with a hamstring injury he suffered while scoring his try.