Slick Blues stun Brumbies

Sat, 14 Jul 2012 07:11
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The Blues produced their best performance of the season to beat the Brumbies 30-16 in Canberra on Saturday.

The Blues produced their best performance of the season to beat the Brumbies 30-16 in Canberra on Saturday and open the door for the Reds.

The result means that the Brumbies have to rely on other results going their way later on Saturday, as the Reds could potentially knock them out of contention for the play-offs with a bonus-point win over the Waratahs.

The Brumbies have built their campaign this season on solid defence and tactical kicking, but it was these disciplines that let them down against a Blues side that played with refreshing enthusiasm.

The Blues seized the early initiative, playing a fearless brand of rugby that gave a glimpse of what could have been for the Auckland side this season.

Their talented backs got an opportunity to impress as they sent it wide and looked to expose some chinks in the determined Brumbies defensive system, and managed to get over the gainline quite easily.

Once they were within striking distance the Blues' forward pack showed took over and some good driving play eventually resulted in lock Liaki Moli bashing his way over for the opening try.

The home side looked rattled and a couple of wayward kicks gave the Blues further opportunity to put them under pressure.

The visitors needed no second opportunity and another flowing movement saw impressive outside centre Francis Saili hit some space before working it out to Daniel Braid who charged over in the left corner for their second try which put them 14-0 up once converted from the touchline by Piri Weepu.

The situation demanded a response from the Brumbies and they promptly delivered.

After managing to secure some possession in Blues territory for the first time in the match they were rewarded with a penalty from the boot of flyhalf Zack Holmes which was followed by a brilliant individual effort by Henry Speight who stepped his way past a few defenders like they were not there and dived over for a stunning try.

Holmes added another penalty shortly afterwards and just like that the Brumbies were right back in it at 14-13.

However, the Blues continued to play with freedom and a telling run from electric fullback Charles Piutau sparked another fluent attacking movement which saw them sweep into the Brumbies 22 with some great interplay.

With the defence stretched left wing Hadleigh Parkes was able to stroll over for their third try which gave the visitors the 21-13 advantage they took into the half-time break.

The Brumbies looked to tighten things up in the second half and they were first to score when Jessie Mogg landed his second penalty attempt, but the Blues hit back with two of their own from Weepu which stretched the lead to 27-16.

A passing showe meant that the cold conditions became wet as well, which turned the last 20 minutes of the match into something of a grind, and it was the visitors who finished with momentum as they pinned the Brumbies in their own half.

A penalty from Michael Hobbs put the seal on a well-rounded performance and a comprehensive victory which ends a disappointing season on a positive note for the Blues.

The Brumbies will be concerned with their error-rate and now face an anxious wait as their prospects this season are to be decided in Brisbane with the Reds aiming to snatch the top spot in the Australian conference at the last possible minute.

Man of the match: There were a number of Blues players who impressed. The Braid brothers worked hard and outside centre Francis Saili had some great touches but the best player on the pitch was fullback Charles Piutau who threatened every time he touched the ball.

The scorers:

For the Brumbies:
Try: Speight
Con: Holmes
Pens: Holmes 2, Mogg

For the Blues:
Tries: Moli, D Braid, Parkes
Cons: Weepu 3
Pens: Weepu 2, Hobbs


Brumbies: 15 Jesse Mogg, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Andrew Smith, 12 Pat McCabe, 11 Joe Tomane, 10 Zack Holmes, 9 Nic White, 8 Ben Mowen (captain), 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Peter Kimlin, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Scott Fardy, 3 Dan Palmer, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Ruaidhri Murphy.
Replacements: 16 Anthony Hegarty, 17 Scott Sio, 18 Leon Power, 19 Fotu Auelua, 20 Ian Prior, 21 Tevita Kuridrani, 22 Robbie Coleman.

Blues: 15 Charles Piutau, 14 Sherwin Stowers, 13 Francis Saili, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Hadleigh Parkes, 10 Michael Hobbs, 9 Piri Weepu, 8 Luke Braid, 7 Daniel Braid, 6 Chris Lowrey, 5 Steven Luatua, 4 Liaki Moli, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 Kevin Mealamu (captain), 1 Tony Woodcock.
Replacements: 16 Tom McCartney, 17 Tevita Mailau, 18 Andrew Van der Heijden, 19 Peter Saili, 20 Alby Mathewson, 21 Orene Ai'i, 22 Lachie Munro.

Referee: Jonathon White (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Ian Smith (Australia), Julian Pritchard (Australia)
TMO: Matt Goddard (Australia)

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Fri, 09 October 2015
Western Province v EP Kings 16h00 Newlands
Pumas v Blue Bulls 16h00 Mbombela Stadium
New Zealand v Tonga 19h00 Newcastle
Sat, 10 October 2015
Free State Cheetahs v Sharks 12h00 Bloemfontein
Samoa v Scotland 13h30 Newcastle
Golden Lions v Griquas 14h00 Ellis Park
Australia v Wales 15h45 London
England v Uruguay 19h00 Manchester
Sun, 11 October 2015
Argentina v Namibia 11h00 Leicester
Italy v Romania 13h30 Exeter
France v Ireland 15h45 Cardiff
United States v Japan 19h00 Gloucester
Wed, 07 October 2015
Namibia v Georgia 16 | 17
South Africa v United States 64 | 0
Tue, 06 October 2015
Fiji v Uruguay 47 | 15
Canada v Romania 15 | 17
Sun, 04 October 2015
Ireland v Italy 16 | 9
Argentina v Tonga 45 | 16
Zebre v Scarlets 8 | 20
Sat, 03 October 2015
England v Australia 13 | 33
Connacht v Cardiff Blues 36 | 31
South Africa v Scotland 34 | 16
Samoa v Japan 5 | 26
Leinster v Dragons 37 | 13
Griquas v Sharks 20 | 45
Pumas v Free State Cheetahs 37 | 37
Fri, 02 October 2015
New Zealand v Georgia 43 | 10
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Waratahs 16 11 0 5 52
Brumbies 16 9 0 7 47
Rebels 16 7 0 9 36
Reds 16 4 0 12 22
Force 16 3 0 13 19
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Hurricanes 16 14 0 2 66
Highlanders 16 11 0 5 53
Chiefs 16 10 0 6 48
Crusaders 16 9 0 7 46
Blues 16 3 0 13 20
Pool SA
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 16 10 1 5 45
Lions 16 9 1 6 42
Bulls 16 7 0 9 38
Sharks 16 7 0 9 34
Cheetahs 16 5 0 11 26