The hapless Crusaders sunk to a new Super Rugby low on Saturday, well beaten 26-6 by the Blues to suffer their fifth successive defeat.

A Crusaders side weakened by injuries and departed stars had no answer to the more physical Blues, who ended a seven-match losing streak against the visitors at Eden Park.

It was a sobering result for the winless seven-time defending champions, who trailed 9-6 at halftime but dropped from contention when they conceded converted tries to Ofa Tu'ungafasi and A.J. Lam soon after the interval.

The only two tries of the game, both came while scrum-half Willi Heinz was off the field, having been shown a yellow card for a professional foul.

It was the heaviest loss of the season for the Crusaders, whose new coach Rob Penney has struggled to find the winning formula of his predecessor Scott Robertson, who has departed to take charge of the All Blacks.

Captain David Havili lamented a mistake-riddled performance and high missed-tackle count.

"We just couldn't build any pressure and a settled team like the Blues make you pay for it. They did that in the second half," Havili said.

"The effort's there, it's just those big moments that we can't execute and it's costing us."

The Crusaders defended valiantly but under constant pressure, particularly when winger Sevu Reece was sin-binned in the 51st minute.

Levi Aumua tried to spark into the life, but Caleb Clarke stopped a certain try right on his line.

The Blues won seven of the Crusaders' 13 lineout throws and fly-half Stephen Perofeta -- who kicked 16 points -- said their set piece advantage proved critical in wet conditions.

"We just wanted to make it real simple this week. The Crusaders have dominated the physical battle, that set piece battle, every year that they've been successful," Perofeta said.

Captain Patrick Tuipulotu was part of a Blues team which beat the Crusaders in his debut match and had to wait 10 years and until his 100th match Saturday to win again.

“It’s been 10 years between drinks,” Tuipulotu said. “It’s very special to be part of.

"It was a tough thing to go through for 10 years but there was a different feeling out there tonight and I think that showed in the result.”

Blues 26 (TRIES: Tu'ungafasi, Lam; CONS: Perofeta 2; PENS: Perofeta 4) def Crusaders 6 (PENS: Hohepa 2)


BLUES (1-15): Ofa Tu'ungafasi, Ricky Riccitelli, Angus Ta'avao, Patrick Tuipulotu (c), Laghlan McWhannell, Akira Ioane, Dalton Papali'i (c), Hoskins Sotutu, Finlay Christie, Stephen Perofeta, Caleb Clarke, Bryce Heem, AJ Lam, Mark Tele'a, Zarn Sullivan

RESERVES: Kurt Eklund, Joshua Fusitu'a, Marcel Renata, Josh Beehre, Adrian Choat, Taufa Funaki, Harry Plummer, Cole Forbes

CRUSADERS (1-15): George Bower, George Bell, Fletcher Newell, Quinten Strange, Jamie Hannah, Dominic Gardiner, Tom Christie, Cullen Grace, Willi Heinz, Riley Hohepa, Macca Springer, David Havili (c), Levi Aumua, Sevu Reece, Chay Fihaki

RESERVES: Ioane Moananu, Joe Moody, Seb Calder, Tahlor Cahill, Corey Kellow, Noah Hotham, Ryan Crotty, Dallas McLeod