Steven Luatua of the Blues is challenged by Tawera Kerr-Barlow of the Chiefs.
Steven Luatua of the Blues is challenged by Tawera Kerr-Barlow of the Chiefs. DAVID ROWLAND

Chiefs too strong for 14-man Blues

THE Blues have suffered a 41-26 loss to the Chiefs, after the Auckland-based side had Steven Luatua sent off in the first half.

The win in Hamilton was the Chiefs' 11th straight Super Rugby triumph over the Blues.

Luatua hit Tim Nanai-Williams high and late with a swinging arm just before halftime and was shown a red card by referee Ben O'Keefe.

In his 100th Super Rugby appearance, Aaron Cruden was the man of the match, scoring 11 points from the boot.

"Enjoyed the game tonight, it was pretty free-flowing," Cruden said.

"We were good in patches (but) there's always things to work on."

The sending-off proved the turning point in the game. There was only six points between the sides before the red card but the Chiefs scored soon after Luatua was marched and went into the break leading 22-9.

The Chiefs then ran in three unanswered tries after halftime before the Blues rallied late to save some face.

The undefeated Chiefs host champions the Hurricanes next week while the Blues host the Highlanders.

News Corp Australia

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