28 Apr 2012

Another loss leaves Blues seeing red

5:38 am on 28 April 2012

The win keeps alive the Queensland Reds' title defence.

Digby Ioane returned from a five-week ban to celebrate his 50th game for Queensland with a try in the second minute, while team mates Luke Morahan and Dom Shipperley also crossed on a drizzly night at Auckland's Eden Park.

After charging to a 12-0 lead in the first eight minutes, the Reds were held to 15-8 at halftime, but their well-marshalled defence put paid to a second-half fightback by the Blues, who slumped to their eighth loss in nine matches.

The Reds' win kept them in the hunt for top spot in the Australian conference and an automatic playoff berth with just over half the season remaining in the competition.

The Blues have endured a nightmare season despite an off-season recruiting blitz that snared All Black backs Piri Weepu and Ma'a Nonu.

The Blues were condemned to chasing the Reds for the entire night after conceding a soft early try set up by a deft kick to the left corner by flyhalf Ben Lucas.