Mo'unga magic underpins Crusaders win

First five-eighth Richie Mo'unga produced a masterful performance to guide the Crusaders to a 43-27 Super Rugby Aotearoa win over the Blues at Eden Park today.

Mo'unga scored 28 points - a try, four conversions and five penalties - with Jack Goodhue, Codie Taylor and Sevu Reece also crossing for the Crusaders.

A big crowd had turned out at Eden Park hoping to see the home side snap a 12-match losing streak against the Crusaders going back to 2014, but the reigning champions took their chances clinically to extend their lead at the top of the standings.

The Crusaders retained their 100 percent record this season to move nine points clear of the previously unbeaten Blues in the standings and remain in the box seat for a 12th Super Rugby title.

The visitors edged out to a 17-8 halftime lead, Otere Black's penalty and a try to flanker Blake Gibson keeping the Blues in touch.

Blues replacement hooker Kurt Eklund scored the first of his two tries nine minutes into the second spell to narrow the Crusaders lead to 20-15.

But Mo'unga's boot punished any Blues ill-discipline, adding nine points in eight minutes to push out the Crusaders lead to 29-15 after 60 minutes.

Another Eklund try five minutes later gave the Blues a glimmer of hope, but tries to Mo'unga and Reece in the last 10 minutes secured the Crusaders their fourth win of the season.

They have the bye next weekend, while the Blues will tackle a Chiefs side buzzing after their comeback 35-29 win over the winless Hurricanes on Saturday.

"It's great to win here at Eden Park," said Crusaders captain Scott Barrett.

"The Blues played some great rugby and tested us up front, it was a real battle there. It was almost like a test match and we had to turn pressure into points."

"There was a lot of wrongdoing on our side and against the Crusaders you can't afford to do that," Blues captain Patrick Tuipulotu said.

"Very disappointing."