Loose forward Jerome Kaino sent All Blacks coach Steve Hansen a clear message he was returning to his best form as he helped the Auckland Blues to a 21-13 win over the New South Wales Waratahs in their Super Rugby match in Auckland on Friday.

Kaino, who has returned to New Zealand after two seasons in Japan and was one of the players of the 2011 World Cup, made several storming runs and bone-crunching tackles for the Blues, who scored tries to Lolagi Visinia and Francis Saili while flyhalf Simon Hickey added 11 points with the boot.

Waratahs loose forward Jacques Potgieter's impressive physical performance was rewarded with a try, while flyhalf Bernard Foley added a conversion and two penalties.

The Waratahs' impressive attacking axis of Foley, inside centre Kurtley Beale and fullback Israel Folau, was snuffed out by the Blues' defence, while the visitors also made too many handling errors at crucial times. – Reuters