Blues get bonus-point win in Canberra

Sun, 30 Apr 2017 06:14
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SUPER RUGBY REPORT: The Blues secured a valuable 18-12 bonus-point win over the Brumbies in Canberra on Sunday.

The Blues stretched the Kiwi winning streak over Australian opposition to 15 games this season.

It was only the Blues' fifth win in their last 34 games away from home, but four of those wins have come in Australia.

Despite remaining last in the New Zealand conference, the Blues were too good for the Australian conference-leading Brumbies - underlining the yawning gulf between the trans-Tasman rivals.

"It's massive for us to get a bonus point in Canberra and I am extremely proud of the boys' resilience," said Blues' skipper James Parsons.

"We've had a hard time back at home but to come away and get this win sets us up nicely after the Waratahs won last night [in Brisbane], so we will be going to Sydney next week pretty happy."

Inside centre Sonny Bill Williams and blindside flank Steven Luatua pushed their All Blacks selection claims for the coming British and Irish Lions home series with strong performances for the Blues.

The Blues dominated possession and territory to score their tries through Matt Duffie, Akira Ioane and Melani Nanai, with Bryn Gatland landing a penalty.

Flyhalf Wharenui Hawera scored all of the Brumbies' points with four penalty goals.

The Brumbies missed 54 tackles and made six handling errors but still came away with a losing bonus point for finishing within seven points. They hold a five-point lead over the Waratahs in the Australian conference.

It was the Brumbies' third straight loss and their ninth consecutive defeat to New Zealand opposition.

Wing Duffie opened the scoring in the 31st minute off a George Moala offload and a Hawera penalty goal kept the Brumbies in the game at 8-3 at half-time.

Hawera reduced the gap to two points with another penalty goal three minutes into the second half and put the home team in front with his third penalty after 51 minutes.

But the Blues hit back, with No.8 Ioane driving over for a try off a well-worked line-out to lead 13-8.

The Brumbies cranked up the pressure and Hawera's fourth penalty goal edged them to within one point with 20 minutes remaining.

But the Blues capitalised on their opportunities, with a Nanai try coming off a scrum to clinch victory.

Man of the match: Scrumhalf Augustine Pulu showed some nice touches with the ball, while George Moala was as strong as ever in the midfield. However, the award goes to Blues No.8 Akira Ioane who made his presence felt with ball in hand and on defence. 

The scorers:

For Brumbies:
Pens: Hawera 4

For Blues:
Tries: Duffie, A Ioane, Nanai
Pen: Gatland

Teams:

Brumbies: 15 Tom Banks, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Andrew Smith, 11 James Dargaville, 10 Wharenui Hawera, 9 Joe Powell, 8 Lolo Fakaosilea, 7 Chris Alcock, 6 Scott Fardy, 5 Sam Carter (captain), 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Josh Mann-Rea, 1 Nic Mayhew.
Replacements: 16 Robbie Abel, 17 Ben Alexander, 18 Leslie Leulua’iali’i-Makin, 19 Blake Enever, 20 Jarrad Butler, 21 De Wet Roos, 22 Jordan Jackson-Hope, 23 Aidan Toua.

Blues: 15 Michael Collins, 14 Matt Duffie, 13 George Moala, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 Rieko Ioane, 10 Piers Francis, 9 Augustine Pulu, 8 Akira Ioane, 7 Blake Gibson, 6 Steven Luatua, 5 Scott Scrafton, 4 Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 James Parsons (captain), 1 Pauliasi Manu.
Replacements: 16 Matt Moulds, 17 Ofa Tu'ungafasi, 18 Sione Mafileo, 19 Leighton Price, 20 Murphy Taramai, 21 Billy Guyton, 22 Sam Nock, 23 Melani Nanai.

Referee: Nick Briant (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Ed Martin (Australia), Graham Cooper (Australia)
TMO: George Ayoub (Australia)

AFP

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Fri, 26 May 2017
Blues v Chiefs 07h45 Auckland
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Sat, 27 May 2017
Sunwolves v Cheetahs 05h15 Tokyo
Highlanders v Waratahs 07h35 Dunedin
Rebels v Crusaders 09h45 Melbourne
Bulls v Hurricanes 13h05 Loftus Versfeld
Wasps v Exeter Chiefs 13h30 London
Sharks v Stormers 15h15 Kings Park
Munster v Scarlets 17h15 Dublin
Jaguares v Brumbies 21h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 28 May 2017
Lions v Kings 12h30 Ellis Park Stadium
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 11 4 0 7 23
Waratahs 11 4 0 7 19
Reds 11 3 0 8 16
Force 11 3 0 8 13
Rebels 11 1 1 9 8
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 12 12 0 0 54
Hurricanes 11 9 0 2 43
Chiefs 11 9 0 2 43
Highlanders 12 9 0 3 41
Blues 12 6 0 6 31
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 11 7 0 4 30
Bulls 11 3 0 8 15
Cheetahs 12 2 0 10 11
Sunwolves 11 1 0 10 7
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 12 11 0 1 51
Sharks 12 8 1 3 38
Jaguares 11 5 0 6 24
Kings 11 4 0 7 19