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'He'd want me to play' - Teary Caleb Clarke dedicates stunning game to grandad who died hours before kickoff

An emotional Caleb Clarke has dedicated his player-of-the-match performance in tonight's win over the Highlanders to his grandfather who died hours before kickoff.

Clarke was captured on camera visibly distraught before kickoff as the Blues honoured killed police officer Matthew Hunt with a moment's silence, but 1 NEWS soon revealed the tears were for his grandad.

The 21-year-old didn't let his emotions effect his game though, as he came out firing for the Blues in the first half, barging over the Highlanders defence to score the opening try.

Clarke immediately got to his feet and pointed to the sky, dedicating the moment to his grandfather.

Soon after, Clarke was in the action again as he burst through the Highlanders defence and set up teammate Rieko Ioane to score another.

Clarke would be a nightmare for the Highlanders defence all evening as his side managed to clinch a close 27-24 win - their third victory of the season as they now enter a bye.

After the game, Clarke was interviewed as the player of the match and asked about the death and fought through tears to give an answer.

"It was a big day, losing my grandfather just hours before kickoff," Clarke said.

"It was a bit iffy if I was going to play but I know him - he would want me to play so I just dedicated that game to him."

Clarke then took a moment to recompose himself before reiterating again the game was in honour of his grandad.