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Blues prove too strong for Hurricanes in another thrilling Super Rugby Aotearoa clash

The Blues proved too strong - and too clinical - as they ran away with a 30-20 win over the Hurricanes today at a sold-out Eden Park.

After a nervy opening featuring plenty of kicking, an electric Rieko Ioane combined with Caleb Clarke with the blockbusting winger proving too strong for the cover defence to score the first try.

The visitors would hit straight back with Dane Coles relishing beating Beauden Barrett to score in the corner, before dragging the former Hurricane into the celebrations.

TJ Faiane would score the Blues' next try after a nice passage from the Blues.

The Hurricanes would again hit back, this time through winger Ben Lam, who finished in the corner around the 30-minute mark.

The home side would miss some opportunities to add to a 14-13 lead they would take into the halftime break.

Faiane’s brilliance set up the Blues’ first try after the break, the midfielder putting a grubber through to set up Dalton Papalii.

The impressive Otere Black would kick two penalties as the Blues opened up a comfortable lead before Jamie Booth scored a consolation try late for the Hurricanes.

The Blues' 30-20 win over the Hurricanes from a sold-out Eden Park, as it happened.

Fulltime - That's it. Another exciting clash with the Blues proving too strong, and too clinical.

79 mins - Goodhue wins the penalty for the Blues, who will kick for the corner. Maybe some more entertainment for the crowd.

77 mins - Canes with a lineout 5m out...and Booth has crashed over under the sticks. Perenara drop kicks the conversion.

73 mins - Blues get another penalty after getting in over the ball.

70 mins - But the Canes make a meal of the lineout. That you would think, is probably curtains as far as the result goes.

69 mins - Aumua goes charging down the left wing, bumps off Black but then drops it. The Canes get the ball back after the Blues kick. Canes get a penalty.

Caleb Clarke scored a brilliant try. Source: Photosport

64 mins - Barrett tries for a drop goal which misses but it's a penalty anyway. Black will kick again...and he makes no mistake, once again.

62 mins - Clarke will a brilliant penalty after getting over the ball. It was Savea who couldn't shift him as well.

57 mins - Blues get another penalty. Black will kick for goal again, this time from 40m or so on the angle. Ioane set his winger away again before it was called back on advantage. He slots it again.

53 mins - Blues get a penalty, surely they'll take the three. They will. Black kicks it.

50 mins - Black converts. Savea and Aumua are on too. Aumua crunches one of the Blues but the Canes were offside.

49 mins - The Blues are in! A great kick and Papalii was there to put it down. It was Faiane who put the grubber in, a lovely touch.

49 mins - Savea and Aumua preparing to come on. Perenara appears to be in trouble with the ref as well.

47 mins - Canes get a penalty after a comically long advantage. Anyway. They'll kick for the corner.

46 mins - Canes win the scrum penalty.

43 mins - Ioane makes another break and the Blues get a penalty, which Barrett takes quickly. A knock on and Laumape tears away. It ends with an average kick from Tiatia. Blues get a lineout in a good territory.

40 mins - Barrett restarts. The Hurricanes go on the attack through Laumape, who found Tiatia with an offload but the fullback fumbled it in the tackle.

Halftime - That's the end of the first half in what is shaping to be a game befitting the occasion. There have been a couple of brilliant tries from each side, we'll be back in 10 minutes or so.

39 mins - Canes get the penalty as a big Mexican wave goes around Eden Park. A great hit from Tuipulotu forces the knock on from Blackwell. A real skipper's moment that.

37 mins - Scrum penalty to the Blues. A big four minutes before the break, Barrett gets penalised for a ruck infringement.

32 mins - Blues penalised for obstruction. They were building something there after a huge fend from Telea on Tiatia. A missed chance there for the home side.

31 mins - Blues get the penalty after Papalii got over the ball. A nice first moment of influence from the substitute.

30 mins - Goosen tried to get on the outside of Clarke but the Blues winger bundled his opposite into touch.

29 mins - Penalty to the Canes. Gibson has come off for the Blues, replaced by Papalii. Gibson made some enormous hits in the opening exchanges.

26 mins - Lam crossed but they've ruled it a forward pass. Another penalty to the Canes, who have decided to scrum. They're over! Lam is in. Some nice hands from the backs after a run from Laumape. Garden-Bachop with a horrible conversion attempt. Blues remain in the lead.

22 mins - Canes get a penalty and another great chance. Robinson stole the lineout but then the Blues were penalised for a dangerous cleanout. An even better attacking chance now.

20 mins - Ioane sets Clarke clear again but he couldn't find the pass and the Blues have been penalised. Ioane has been brilliant at centre for the Blues. It was Barrett looming up in support of Clarke too.

17 mins - Blues rumble deep into the Canes' 22...and they're over! This time it's Faiane who's scored. A very impressive passage from the Blues. Black converts.

16 mins - Blues get a penalty for offside.

14 mins - Coles is in! And then he's into Barrett! What entertainment, they're checking it but Coles found himself in the clear on the right and he's still got it, he got the ball down in the corner as well as any winger could have. It was Barrett who tried to come across in cover but Coles was unstoppable. The conversion was unsuccessful.

13 mins - The Blues are in! What a try, the Canes came up fast and Ioane got on the outside before finding Clarke, who was to strong for the covering defenders and dotted down under the posts. What a try! Black converts.

10 mins - A bad kick from Laumape allows Black to find touch with a brilliant nudge.

9 mins - The Canes swing the ball out to the left with Lam, and they get another penalty, which will give them a good attacking platform.

7 mins - Canes to get the first points after a penalty for offside. Garden-Bachop knocks it over.

6 mins - Nock with an ordinary clearance following the scum, great chance for the Canes. 

4 mins - Barrett runs it but the Canes turn it over. The Canes crossed but there was a knock on there. Tiatia went close after a kick from Aso. A nervy opening passage from both sides. Neither of whom want the ball so far. The first scrum...

3 mins - Barrett with a left foot kick, plenty of kicking in the opening stages.

2 mins - But the Canes get it from this lineout, Gibson with a big hit in midfield.

1 mins - Nock clears after a couple of phases from the Blues, who have snatched the ball at the lineout. Penalty under advantage to the home side.

3.38pm - The Hurricanes will kick off...

3.36pm - And an equally big roar and round of applause for essential workers.

3.35pm - And an airforce jet flyover only adds to the occasion.

3.34pm - The teams are coming onto the field together to a huge roar. Undoubtedly a great moment.

3.25pm - Some late breaking news out of Eden Park with Hurricanes substitute Vaea Fifita ruled out of today's clash.

Preview: As if the return of rugby and crowds to the country's biggest stadium wasn't enough, today's clash also sees Beauden Barrett make his debut for the Blues against his former side.

The All Blacks star, who starts at fullback, is preparing for some banter from his former teammates, who will be without his brother Jordie after he was ruled out with a shoulder injury.

In a boost for the visitors, Ardie Savea returns on the bench.

Blues: 15. Beauden Barrett, 14. Mark Telea, 13. Rieko Ioane, 12. TJ Faiane, 11. Caleb Clarke, 10. Otere Black, 9. Sam Nock, 8. Hoskins Sotutu, 7. Blake Gibson, 6. Tom Robinson, 5. Josh Goodhue, 4. Patrick Tuipulotu (c), 3. Ofa Tu'ungafasi, 2. James Parsons, 1. Alex Hodgman.

Reserves: 16. Kurt Eklund, 17. Ezekiel Lindenmuth, 18. Marcel Renata, 19. Gerad Cowley-Tuioti, 20. Dalton Papalii, 21. Finlay Christie, 22. Harry Plummer, 23. Matt Duffie.

Hurricanes: 15. Chase Tiatia, 14. Wes Goosen, 13. Vince Aso, 12. Ngani Laumape, 11. Ben Lam, 10. Jackson Garden-Bachop, 9. TJ Perenara (cc), 8. Gareth Evans, 7. Du'Plessis Kirifi, 6. Reed Prinsep, 5. Scott Scrafton, 4. James Blackwell, 3. Tyrel Lomax, 2. Dane Coles (cc), 1. Fraser Armstrong.

Reserves: 16. Asafo Aumua, 17. Tevita Mafileo, 18. Alex Fidow, 19. Isaia Walker-Leawere, 20. Vaea Fifita, 21. Ardie Savea, 22. Jamie Booth, 23. Billy Proctor.