The Blues kept their unbeaten record intact on Saturday when they beat the Highlanders at home 27-24.
It was a game that saw the Blues pull away from the visitors just to see their lead overtaken in the second half and had to fight hard at the end to pull this one through.
With the Crusaders the Blues are the only unbeaten sides in the competition after three rounds. They will go into a bye next week before they travel to Christchurch to face the Crusaders in their own back yard.
It was the new young star Caleb Clarke that opened the scoring for the home side with a powerful run to give them the lead.
The Highlanders did not take long to hit back after some sustain pressure on the Blues line, their captain Ash Dixon got over to level the scores at 7-all
The teams traded penalties before the Blues got over the line again when Dalton Papali’i got his try to extend the lead to 17-10.
Another powerful run from youngster Caleb Clark gave Rieko Ioane the space to run in the Blues third try of the match. This gave them a commanding lead off 22-10 at halftime.
The Blues was full value for that lead at halftime and it looked like they will run away with it but the Highlanders had other plans in the second half.
It was just the start the Highlanders wanted to open the second half when Aaron Smith fed the ball to Mitch Hunt who, with a brilliant dummy, slices through the Blues’ defensive line before stepping away to score.
That reduced the lead off the Blues to 22-17 and all to play for in the second half.
The Highlanders were much better in the second half putting a lot of pressure on the Blues which forced them to give away plenty of penalties.
Rieko Ioane also got a yellow card for a offside infringement. That saw Shannon Frizell getting the visitors their second try of the the second half and the lead off 24-22.
With minutes remaining the Blues saved the game with a great try from Dalton Papali’i. This gave the Blues a 27-24 lead which they were able to hold on too till the end off the game.
Blues – Tries: Caleb Clarke, Dalton Papalii (2), Rieko Ioane. Conversions: Otere Black (2). Penalties: Otere Black. Yellow cards: Rieko Ioane.
Highlanders – Tries: Ash Dixon, Mitch Hunt, Shannon Frizell. Conversions: Mitch Hunt (3). Penalties: Mitch Hunt.