The British and Irish Lions were stunned by the Super Rugby side
The Blues are the worst of five New Zealand sides who compete in Super Rugby. The best of them – Crusaders – are up next for the Lions on Saturday.
And if Warren Gatland’s side have any chance of victory ther, let alone in the first Test in two-and-a-half weeks, things need to improve fast.
Crusaders have won 14 out of 14 games this season, racking up more than 520 points in the process. It’s just what coach Gatland doesn’t need after a shock defeat this morning.
In truth, victory was no less than the Blues deserved. They showed more creativity, more magic and more cutting edge against a Lions side lacking in both imagination and execution.
"We put ourselves under pressure with back-to-back errors and probably our contact at the first and second phase where we overturned probably a little bit top much, especially first half," captain on the night Ken Owens told Sky Sports.
Lions Tour: Player ratings against the Blues Wed, June 7, 2017
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Leigh Halfpenny – 6
"I don't think (we've been surprised by the intensity of teams in New Zealand), I think physically we've been right up there, obviously the speed of the game is slightly quicker, some of us haven't played for a couple of weeks but that's no excuse.
"We've got to hit the ground running, physically we've been good, we've matched them, at the moment it's our error count which is probably let us down."
The Lions spent the early part of the first half deep in the Blues 22 but could not get themselves on the scoreboard.
However, they did look substantially sharper than their opening display against the Provincial Barbarians.
But it was the home side who struck first, 10-cap All Black Rieko Ioane capitalising on Jack Nowell's poor positioning to speed into the left corner in the seventh minute.
Stephen Perofeta missed the conversion but it was a psychological blow for the Lions to go behind early in the second consecutive game.
Jared Payne thought he had scored for the Lions on his return to the country of his birthThe response came quickly with Jared Payne appearing to sneak into the corner, only for the TMO to adjudge that Perofeta had squeezed North Island-born centre into touch.
They were not to be denied though and after turning down three points from the 22, the Lions twice kicked for touch before CJ Stander barrelled over from close range.
Leigh Halfpenny added the extras to give the tourists the lead in what was otherwise a quiet start for the full-back who was given a sniff of a Lions Test jersey by Stuart Hogg's poor outing at the weekend.
Dan Biggar thought he had blotted his copybook six minutes before the break when Ioane seized on his wayward offload to run 60 metres for his second try – but the referee rightly decided his tackler had been offside and brought play back for a Lions penalty.
The men in red were on the verge of going in ahead when they conceded a very kickable penalty in overtime.
However, Perofeta hit the post and the Lions failed to react, Sonny Bill Williams diving on a loose ball to score and ensure that a failed three points became a successful seven and a 12-10 half-time lead for the Blues.
The second half almost began in similarly disastrously when Ioane thought he had his second try again only for Nowell to redeem himself partially with a last-gasp tackle.
Payne was forced off with a recurrence of the calf injury that kept him out at the weekend – a sad moment for the New Zealander by birth and former Blues player – to be replaced by Liam Williams.
The Welshman had an instant, but negative impact, twice arriving late to the high ball and receiving a yellow card for the second.
However, the Lions weathered the storm, in fact winning the 10-minute period 3-0 before Halfpenny slotted another from 40 metres out to take the lead.
But the Blues ability to offload time and again paid off with just six minutes to go.
Williams picked a brilliant line off a Steve Luatua pop pass and got the ball out of the tackle one-handed to Ihaia West for the 25-year-old fly-half to spring 40 metres and round a helpless Halfpenny to score under the posts.
A late penalty was kicked into the corner by Johnny Sexton with only seconds remaining but the skeletons in Rory Best's throwing attic reappeared at exactly the wrong time and the Blues pounced on the overthrown lineout to seal a famous victory.
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