Blues spoil Braid’s return brings you the latest from New Zealand’s Super 14 franchises.

Blues spoil Braid’s return

The Blues came from behind to seal a 26-24 victory over the Reds.

The victory is the Blues’ first of the pre-season after defeats to the Chiefs and Hurricanes, while the result was the Reds’ second loss on the trot after being outplayed by the Waratahs last week.

Former Blues flank Daniel Braid’s commanding performance helped the Reds to a 14-7 lead at the break, but the Blues brought on All Blacks Isaia Toeava, Jerome Kaino and Tony Woodcock at the interval as they turned the game around in the second half.

Blues Tries: Paul Williams, Jerome Kaino, Rene Rainger, Taniela Moa. Conversions: Jimmy Gopperth, Michael Hobbs (2).

RedsTries: Quade Cooper, Anthony Faingaa, Leroy Houston, Blair Connor. Conversions: Cooper (2)

Saders too strong for Highlanders

Defending Super 14 champions the Crusaders staged another late comeback to beat the Highlanders 40-17 on Friday.

The Crusaders, who trailed by 17 points at the start of the second third, made 10 changes as the scored 40 unanswered points to run away with the game.

Last week against the Western Force, the Crusaders came from 14 points down to claim victory and it was the same this week as super-subs Richie McCaw, Brad Thorn, Kieran Read and Ben Franks helped turn the result around.

Crusaders Tries: Isaac Ross, Kieran Read, Ryab Crotty, Stephen Brett, Wyatt Crockett, Jared Payne. Conversions: Colin Slade (5).

Highlanders Tries: David Hall, Daniel Bowden. Conversions: Bowden (2). Penalties – Bowden.

Holmes makes a statement

Brumbies scrumhalf Josh Holmes was named Man of the Match in his side’s 28-14 win over an understrength Hurricanes in Canberra.

Holmes scored the opening try and although he only lasted the opening half after taking a knock to the head, he was the standout performer of the night. With question-marks over Wallabies incumbent Luke Burgess’s aptitude for Test rugby, Holmes’s showing will have done him no harm early in the season.

New Brumbies coach Andy Friend lauded Holmes’s showing.

“I thought he did really well, he had a good 40 minutes there,” said Friend. “The most important thing for us is we’re playing our style of rugby and I saw enough there today to say there’s been a lot of intention in the stuff we’ve been putting in in the last 14 weeks, we can get better at that.”

Brumbies – Tries:  Josh Holmes, Ben Alexander, Patrick Phibbs, Afusipa Taumoepeau. Conversions: Mark Gerrard, Matt Toomua (3).

Hurricanes –Tries:Cory Jane, Zac Guildford. Conversions: Daniel Kirkpatrick (2).

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