Blues hold off Force

The Blues have narrowly defeated the Western Force 22-18, despite not scoring after the 29th minute.

The Force started the match brightly, with In-form winger Manasa Mataele racing in for the first try of the match in the eighth minute.

The free-flowing scoring continued in the early stages, with Blues fly-half and All Blacks star Beauden Barrett narrowing the margin to five with a straightforward penalty goal in the 12th minute.

The Blues hit the front in the 19th minute courtesy of a close-range Sam Darry try.

Akira Ioane stormed over in the 21st minute, with AJ Lam adding a third try in the 29th minute, as the Blues took a 22-8 lead into half time.

The second half deadlock was broken in the 62nd minute, with Force lock Jeremy Thrush driving over the line to bring the scores to 12-22.

A vocal Force crowd rose to their feet as the momentum swung their way, Bo Abra crossing over for his first ever Super Rugby try to set up a dramatic final five minutes.

Despite a wave of attacks on the Blues defence with 26 phases after the siren, the Force comeback wasn't to be, as the reigning champions claimed a four-point win.

The Blues move to first on the ladder with the victory, and extend their unbeaten run to nine matches.