THE Blues scored eight tries to comfortably beat the Cheetahs 50-32 in a round 12 Super Rugby match played in Auckland on Friday morning.
The former champions were superior in every department to the men from Bloemfontein, who again missed too many tackles and took too many poor decisions to challenge their opponents.
Tana Umaga’s men led 24-18 at half-time, but a three try-burst after the restart put an end to the Cheetahs’ chances of victory.
Steven Luatua, Augustine Pulu and Rieko Ioane, his second on the night, scored converted tries in the space of six minutes to help the Blues into a handy 45-18 lead with just over 20 minutes remaining.
The Cheetahs scored four tries, three of them coming from their two hookers, Torsten van Jaarsveld and his replacement Elandre Huggett, both crashing over from close after quality lineout drives. Their other try was scored by skipper Francois Venter, who opened the scoring early on.
This was the Blues’ sixth win, which keeps them in with a sniff of getting into the playoffs later in the competition, while the Cheetahs have now lost eight times in 11 matches and are out of the running to get into the knockout rounds.
Next week they take on the Hurricanes in Wellington, while the Blues travel to South Africa.
Blues – Tries: Rieko Ioane (2), Scott Scrafton, Akira Ioane, Patrick Tuipulotu, Steven Luatua, Augustine Pulu, Melani Nanai. Conversions: Piers Francis (2), Ihaia West (3).
Cheetahs – Tries: Francois Venter, Torsten van Jaarsveld, Elandre Huggett (2). Conversions: Fred Zeilinga (3). Penalties: Zeilinga (2).