Super Rugby 2019: Blues hold on for tough win over the Waratahs

Israel Folau's milestone night ended on a sour note as the Waratahs went down 32-29 to the Blues in a tense Super Rugby thriller in Auckland.

Wallabies star Folau scored one try and set up another to help the Waratahs claw back from 17-0 down on Saturday before they ultimately fell frustratingly short at Eden Park.

With his team trailing 22-21 midway through the second half, it was a loose pass from Folau that ultimately proved decisive, allowing Blues veteran Ma'a Nonu to charge 40m for the game's final try.

It was unfortunate for the world class fullback, who was a threat throughout and leapt in trademark style from a Bernard Foley cross-kick to open the Waratahs' scoring.

That was his 60th Super Rugby five-pointer, giving him the outright lead on the competition's all-time try-scoring list, one clear of former Blues flyer Doug Howlett.

Folau turned provider for winger Alex Newsome in the second half while their other tries went to flanker Will Miller and reserve halfback Jake Gordon.

However, it wasn't enough to make up for a mediocre start in which the Waratahs allowed the Blues to roll over the advantage line and rack up 17 points in 17 minutes.

Former All Blacks great Nonu threw the last pass for tries to Tom Robinson and Caleb Clarke and they were never headed from there as the Blues clocked up a 10th win over the New South Welshmen at Eden Park in 11 meetings.

It follows last week's shock loss to the Sunwolves for the Waratahs and leaves them with a 3-4 record.

The Blues improve to 4-3, having notched four successive wins for the first time since 2011.

There were some standout figures in a visiting pack missing the rested Michael Hooper, with prop Harry Johnson-Holmes enhancing his reputation, along with loose forwards Michael Wells and Jack Dempsey.

Kurtley Beale added spice to their back play when introduced for the last half hour.