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Match Highlights: Blues beat Highlanders

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Match Highlights: 'Try scoring machine' Ioane stars as Blues end losing run against NZ sides

Winger Rieko Ioane scored two tries, bringing his tally to six from his past two games, as the Blues ended a 20-match losing streak against New Zealand opponents, beating the Highlanders 33-26 in Super Rugby.

Lock Patrick Tuipulotu barged over the line in the 74th minute and flyhalf Otere Black added a 78th minute penalty as the Blues came from behind in a match of seven lead changes to snatch their first win over a New Zealand conference rival since 2016.

Highlanders flyhalf Marty Banks kicked a penalty – his sixth goal from as many attempts – to put the Highlanders ahead 26-23 with 16 minutes left.

But the Blues finished more strongly and with more luck.

Highlanders and All Blacks winger Waisake Naholo was sinbinned in the 68th minute for a dangerous tackle and the Blues took full advantage of an extra man to construct the winning try for Tuipulotu.

“It’s awesome, it’s good for our confidence,” Blues captain Blake Gibson said.

“We haven’t beat en a New Zealand team in a while so it’s good to get that monkey off our back.

The Blues were able to dominate the final exchanges with Naholo in the sin-bin, scoring first through Tuipulotu, then sealing their win with Black’s penalty.

“It was tough, we knew it was going to come down to the key moments and I thought the Blues took them near the end of the game more than we did so we’ll learn from that,” Highlanders captain Ben Smith said.

AAP

In other news: Raelene Castle on Sunwolves axing

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Match Highlights: 'Try scoring machine' Ioane stars as Blues end losing run against NZ sides