Blues end winless streak with Highlanders victory

Patrick Tuipulotu's late try proved decisive as the Blues ended their 20-game winless run against New Zealand teams with a 33-26 victory over the Highlanders in Auckland.

Not since a 33-31 triumph over the Highlanders in February 2016 had the Blues defeated a fellow Kiwi side in Super Rugby, but that finally changed on Friday.

Two tries from Rieko Ioane in the opening 40 minutes at Eden Park gave the Blues a 15-13 half-time lead, Harry Plummer adding one conversion and a penalty.

The Highlanders – who are now three games without a win – improved after the restart and briefly led after Tevita Li claimed a loose kick and raced clear to score.

A fourth penalty from Marty Banks put the visitors 26-23 ahead with 15 minutes to play, but the Blues produced a dramatic finish to snatch the win.

Tuipulotu barged his way through three defenders to touch down for the Blues' fourth try in the 74th minute, Otere Black adding the extras before kicking a penalty to secure back-to-back successes.

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