AAucklaand Blues

Blues hang tough for narrow win

Flanker Dalton Papali'i grabbed a brace for the Blues, who ran in four tries but had to defend desperately in the closing minutes to secure the win.

Blues winger Caleb Clarke kickstarted proceedings after barely five minutes with a strong finish from an attacking lineout, Otere Black's conversion giving the home team an early 7-0 lead.

The Highlanders took little time to respond, skipper Ash Dixon barging over from close range and Mitch Hunt adding the extras to level the scores.