Blues coach Leon MacDonald says he can't fault his team despite their 26-15 defeat to the Crusaders in their Super Rugby Aotearoa clash in Christchurch on Saturday night.
The Blues led for the majority of the match, before the Crusaders scored 17 unanswered points in the final quarter to remain unbeaten. They move six points clear atop the Super Rugby Aotearoa standings.
The game-changing plays came midway through the second half when Braydon Ennor charged down Otere Black's conversion attempt in the 55th minute.
On the ensuing restart, Richie Mo'unga caught everyone off guard with a cheeky short kickoff which he regathered before any Blues players could react.
That put the Crusaders in a great attacking position and built pressure which the Blues couldn't recover from.
Those were some of the "little moments" MacDonald admitted hurt his side, but overall he wasn't too critical of their performance.
''We came and scored a fantastic try in the second half, and then they get a charge down on the conversion, which shows how relentless they are in everything they do,'' says MacDonald.
"Then Richie is alert, like always, and does a little short kick and all of a sudden we are defending our try line.
"That is the Crusaders, a relentless outfit that keeps on putting pressure on. We chucked everything we had at them, we came really close and I'm really proud of the effort.
''I'm not critical of our performance at all, I thought we played really well."
Next up for the Blues is a trip to Wellington to face the Hurricanes next Saturday, while the Crusaders have the bye.
Join us at 3:30pm Sunday for live updates of the Hurricanes v Highlanders Super Rugby Aotearoa clash