You are not permitted to download, save or email this image. Visit image gallery to purchase the image.
The Blues will be hoping that pre-season form has any bearing whatsoever on the Super Rugby regular season, after taking another victory against one of their New Zealand rivals.
A 38-31 victory over the Hurricanes in Mangatainoka this afternoon followed their 43-10 thrashing of the Chiefs in Kaikohe last weekend, making it two on the trot for the Blues under new coach Leon McDonald.
Down 14-0 early, the Blues got back to 14-14 at halftime, before continuing their hot period of play to burst out to a 38-19 lead. The Hurricanes pegged them back late, but it wasn't enough as the Blues held on for what is, at worst, a confidence-boosting win.
Sure, it probably doesn't mean much in the grand scheme of things - the Hurricanes once scored 70 in pre-season then lost by 40 in the first round of the regular season - but it's better than being thrashed in pre-season, and the Blues at least have some reasons to be positive.
Ma'a Nonu got on the scoresheet for the Blues against his former side, after missing last week's match, while Melani Nanai grabbed a double. Otere Black, Harry Plummer and Stephen Perofeta all contributed as the Blues try to find their playmaker of choice for the season ahead, while for the Hurricanes, Ben Lam scored the best try of the match, finishing off a free-flowing long-range move.
The Blues now prepare for their season opener next week, hosting the Crusaders at Eden Park next Saturday.
Blues 38 (Melani Nanai 2, Leni Apisai, Hoskins Sotutu, Ma'a Nonu, Harry Plummer tries; Otere Black 3 cons, Stephen Perofeta con)
Hurricanes 31 (James Blackwell, Ben Lam, Asafo Aumua, Ben May, Wes Goosen tries; Fletcher Smith 2 cons, Jackson Garden-Bachop con)