Sonny Bill Williams' return for the Blues couldn't prevent the Hurricanes winning their Super Rugby derby 36‑15 to claim the competition lead.
Williams returned from a lengthy injury layoff to set up a try with a trademark offload but was otherwise subdued for the home side who fell away in the second half at Eden Park last night.
The Hurricanes scored five tries to two in notching a ninth successive win.
They inched past the Crusaders at the top of the table although the defending champions can reclaim first position if they are successful against the Waratahs at 5.15 this afternoon.
Ricky Riccitelli and excellent No.8 Gareth Evans scored tries to put the Hurricanes 14‑8 up following a forgettable first half.
The game was so exciting that even the referee had to be changed at halftime.
Referee Jaco Peyper was not feeling well and Paul Williams took over.
Prop Ofa Tu'ungafasi's try gave the Blues a momentary lead but fullback Nehe Milner‑Skudder, lock Sam Lousi and centre Matt Proctor crossed to leave the Blues without a win in 16 successive Kiwi derbies.
The Sunwolves and Reds play at 3.15 this afternoon, Waratahs meet the Crusaders at 5.15 this afternoon, the Highlanders meet the Lions at 7.35pm today while the Brumbies meet the Rebels at 9.45pm.
Tomorrow, the Stormers meet the Chiefs at 1.05am and Bulls face the Sharks at 3.15am.ADVERTISEMENT Listen to the latest news on our 5 radio stations Legend FM, Viti FM, Radio Sargam, FM96 and Navtarang.