6 Apr 2013

Highlanders lose six in a row

3:09 pm on 6 April 2013

The Highlanders suffered their sixth successive loss of the Super Rugby season after they were beaten 29-18 by the Blues in Auckland.

The Highlanders led early at Eden Park with a penalty to first five eighth Colin Slade and a converted try to All Black fullback Ben Smith.

But the Blues hit back with two tries, to Steven Luatua and Angus Ta'avao, after the Highlanders center Ma'a Nonu was sin-binned for a shoulder charge on Piri Weepu.

Weepu wasn't phased by the hit and scored two tries in the second half off the back of breaks by the Blues centre Rene Ranger.

The Highlanders captain Andrew Hore says despite dominating the set piece the Highlanders couldn't hold onto the ball.

He says his players are trying too hard to win and are not focused their own individual performances.

The Blues coach Sir John Kirwan says after three consecutive losses the victory has put the Blues' season back on track.

The Super Rugby franchise has risen to fifth on the table with the bonus point win.

The Blues player George Moala has been cited for a dangerous tackle on the Highlanders Buxton Popoali'i.