It was the Highlanders that put the first points on the board with a penalty but the Blues put the pressure right back on the Highlanders.
They were camping in the Highlanders twenty two and it was some class and power shown from Rieko Ioane with a solo effort that got the Blues on the scoreboard.
That gave them the lead of 5-3 after 12 minutes.
The Highlanders hit back immediately with their first try by Luke Whitelock.
The Blues reduced the lead to 10-8 before we saw some brilliant play from the Blues to send Ioane over for his second on the night and the lead of 15-10.
Some handling errors came into play in at the end of the half which means the Blues kept the slight lead of 15-10 at half time.
The Blues had a change to extend the lead early on but the TMO ruled a forward pass to Tom Robinson.
The teams traded some penalties to give the Blues a 18-15 lead before Tevita Li got the better of a high ball. This gave the Highlanders the lead of 23-18 but that was sort lived.
The Blues seemed to come back every time the Highlanders scored and this time it was Melani Nana was at the end of some great play.
This even up the scores at 23-all after 58 minutes.
The Highlanders were the reduced to 14-men when Waisake Naholo got a yellow card for lifting a player in the tackle.
This gave advantage to the Blues with 13 minutes to go.
The Blues took advantage of the extra man and scored a team try to take the lead 30-26. It was Patrick Tuipulotu at the end of it but that was a team try.
With time running out the Blues extend the lead to 33-26 with a penalty which gave them a seven point lead going into the final two minutes of the match.
The Highlanders had a change to salvage a draw at the end but the Blues was up for it in defence and hold them out.
It was a well deserved win for the Blues at the end and will give them more confidence going forward.
Blues – Tries: R Ioane (2), Nanai, Tuipulotu. Conversion: Plummer, Black. Penalty: Plummer (2), Black.
Highlanders – Tries: Whitelock, Tevita Li. Conversion: Banks (2). Penalties: Banks (3).
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|March 22, 2019||08:35||Super Rugby 2019||Vodacom Super Rugby 2019||80'|
|Team||Losing Bonus Point||Penalty||Tries||Conversions||4 TRY BP||Points||Outcome|