Crusaders beat the Blues in bruising encounter at Eden Park

The Crusaders have bounced back from a loss last week to beat the Blues by 25 - 8 at Eden Park tonight.

The Blues started the game in promising fashion, dotting down for the first try in the sixth minute when Patrick Tuipulotu crashed over after several attacking phases.

That was the only time they’d trouble the scorers in the first half, however, with the Crusaders knocking over an easy penalty in the 18th minute to make it 5 - 3, before All Blacks winger George Bridge scored in the corner in the 26th minute.

Another penalty close to half time saw the Crusaders take a deserved 11 - 5 lead over the home team into the break.

The Blues were also first to strike after half-time, with Harry Plummer nailing a penalty to put them back within three points.

Some slick build-up play saw Richie Mo’unga score a try for the visitors in the 45th minute and extend their lead once again.

Mo’unga was involved again, when the Crusaders crossed for another try in the 57th minute, flicking a pass on to Goodhue to dot down.

The Blues then enjoyed a period of domination in possession and territory but couldn’t crack the Crusaders' staunch defence as the red and blacks held on for a convincing win.