Super Rugby Pacific: Blues maintain momentum with big 'away' win over Moana Pasifika at Eden Park

All Blacks winger Mark Tele'a has run in a hattrick of tries, as his Blues overwhelmed Moana Pasifika 47-8 in a Super Rugby Pacific 'Battle for Eden Park'.

The fixture was a rare 'away' game for the Blues on their homeground, with their crosstown rivals bringing it to the self-proclaimed 'National Stadium' to accommodate the combined fanbases.

Unfortunately, the contest was almost entirely one-sided, with the visitors running in seven tries to just one and first-five Stephen Perofeta converting a perfect six-from-six off the tee. Replacement Harry Plummer recorded the only miss in the dying minutes. 

Mark Tele'a in action against Moana Pasifika.
Mark Tele'a in action against Moana Pasifika. Photo credit: Photosport

Veteran midfielder Bryce Heem combined with Tele'a for the Blues' opening try, throwing a long pass that gifted the flyer an overlap down the right to score.

Perofeta had their second, when halfback Finlay Christie offered a short pass from a ruck that put him through a vacant inside channel and unimpeded to the line.

Moana Pasifika pegged back a penalty from the boot of Christian Leali'ifano, but Blues No.8 Hoskins Sotutu put All Blacks winger Caleb Clarke away for a 50-metre run to the tryline, as the visitors extended their lead.

Heem exposed the Moana Pasifika defensive line, when he simply busted through for a try from broken play, before the home side finally struck back. 

From the kickoff, fullback Danny Toala showed dazzling footwork, before finding winger Fine Inisi, who also wrongfooted the Blues defenders, with captain Sione Havili-Talituli on hand to score. That was as close as they got.

Ahead 28-8 at halftime, the Blues scored first after the break through Christie, as they piled on 19 unanswered points, with Tele'a grabbing the final two to bring up his treble.

Off the back of a rare win over the champion Crusaders, they temporarily sit atop the Super Rugby Pacific rable, with unbeaten Hurricanes facing the Highlanders on Saturday evening.

"We talked about it all week," said loose forward Akira Ioane. "We can't get complacent and had to make sure our preparation was on point.

"This game wasn't going to be easy, they're a good team, they're a lot of our brothers, so we grew up playing with them."

The Blues host Western Force on Friday, while Moana Pasifika must pick themselves up to face a Chiefs outfit reeling from defeat on Friday.

Blues 47 (Tele'a 3, Perofeta, Clarke, Hee &, Christie tries; Perofeta 6 conversions) Moana Pasifika 8 (Havili-Talituli try; Leali'ifano penalty)