AUCKLAND, New Zealand (AP) — Flyhalf Otere Black scored a try among 19 points as the Auckland-based Blues beat the Dunedin-based Highlanders 39-17 Sunday in Super Rugby Aotearoa.
The Blues took a bonus point from the five tries to two win to stay unbeaten after three matches in the New Zealand domestic tournament while the Highlanders are now 2-1 after three games.
Poor discipline cost the Highlanders who were repeatedly penalized at the offside line and at scrums.
The Highlanders scored first with a penalty to flyhalf Josh Ioane before Black’s try, which he also converted, gave the Blues a lead they didn’t surrender.
Ioane put up a high kick on the his own 22 and the Highlanders weren’t able to recover possession. The Blues attacked down the left flank through Rieko Ioane who passed infield to Black who scored.
All Blacks winger Caleb Clark scored from a set piece in the 17th minute to extend the Blues’ lead to 14-3. Winger Rieko Ioane again was involved in the move from an attacking scrum.
A penalty to Black completed scoring in the first half after which the Blues led 17-3.
Replacement Emoni Narawa came off the bench to score the first try of the second half with his first touch of the football, put into space by Stephen Perofeta.
Hooker Kurt Eklund dived over from a rolling maul in the 50th minute to make the lead 29-3 after Black’s conversion.
The Blues now face unbeaten and the defending champion Crusaders in the next round.
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