Super Rugby Trans-Tasman: Blues overpower Waratahs to extend NZ unbeaten run

Winger Bryce Heems' hat-trick of tries has paced the Blues to a comfortable 48-21 victory over the Waratahs at Eden Park to extend their winning start to Super Rugby Trans-Tasman.

The results also underlines New Zealand's early dominance over their rivals from across the ditch, with an eighth win in as many matches in the revamped competition.

The Blues drew first blood with an early Otere Black penalty, before winger Bryce Heems capitalised on a period of forward power to cross in the corner for the opening try.

Injuries forced the visitors to reshuffle their line-up before and after kickoff, with centre Izaia Perese and lock Max Douglas dropping out, and replacement Jack Whetton also departing temporarily for a head assessment.

Regardless, the Waratahs threatened to score next on a couple of occasions and were unlucky to concede the next try, charging down a kick that fell kindly for Heem to send captain Tom Robinson across.

Prop Angus Bell finally put the Aussies on the board, fending off a couple of would-be tacklers in his sprint for the line. Halfback Jake Gordon perfectly read a pass from counterpart Finlay Christie to intercept and score untouched, and with halftime in sight, the Blues advantage looked tenuous.

But the Blues forwards provided some breathing room into the break, mauling 20 metres to the goal-line and then finishing the job, with hooker Kurt Eklund at the end of a close-range lineout drive.

Leading 22-14 after 40 minutes, the hosts extended their advantage through Rieko Ioane, who pounced on a loose ball at the breakdown and sped 30 metres unopposed.

Reduced to 14 men, with prop Harry Johnson-Holmes yellow-carded, the Waratahs were powerless against a close-range Blues scrum, conceding a penalty try that finally put the game beyond their reach with 20 minutes remaining.

Even short-handed, the Waratahs managed to score next through hooker David Porecki to keep their faint hopes alive.

But the Blues enjoyed the luxury of bringing All Blacks Alex Hodgman, Patrick Tuipulotu and Dalton Papali'i off the bench, and all three combined in the build-up to Heems' second try.

As the clock ticked down on the contest, Heems galloped 40 metres for his third to put the seal on the Blues victory.

Blues 48 (Heems 3, Robinson, R Ioane & Eklund tries; penalty try; Black 4 conversions & penalty) Waratahs 21 (Bell, Porecki & Gordon tries; Harrison 3 conversions)