Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 21 August 2014

Halai stars for Blues

Frank Halai scored two tries for the Blues

The Blues maintained their perfect start to the Super Rugby season with an impressive 34-15 win over the Crusaders at Eden Park.

The home side overcame a shaky start, and the flawless kicking of Dan Carter, in the first half thanks to two tries by star wing Frank Halai that ensured they held a healthy 20-12 lead at the break.

Many would have expected more from the seven-time champions, who closed the gap to five points after half-time through Carter's fifth penalty, but they could not stop the spirited Blues and two more second-half tries ultimately sealed their fate.

The win saw John Kirwan's men remain at the top of the New Zealand conference on 10 points.

The NSW Waratahs snapped a nine-game Super Rugby losing streak with a come-from-behind 31-26 victory over the Rebels at Allianz Stadium.

Michael Cheika's men hit the front in the third minute via a Brendan McKibbin penalty but it was all Melbourne for the remainder of the first half as they led 16-6 at the break.

Staring down the barrel of yet another defeat, the hosts threw caution to the wind in the wet conditions and were rewarded with tries from Bernard Foley, Michael Hooper and Paddy Ryan to open up an 11-point buffer.

A late try from Kurtley Beale salvaged a bonus point for the Rebels, who blew a half-time lead for the second straight week.

McKibbin kicked six from seven - including four penalties and two conversions - while James O'Connor also had his radar working to match McKibbin's 16-point haul.

The Queensland Reds broke a four-match losing streak against the Hurricanes to record a scrappy 18-12 win at Suncorp Stadium.

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