Blues bash Brumbies to continue Aussie woes

Super Rugby
by Sam Phillips

The Brumbies have missed 54 tackles in a lacklustre performance which failed to break the Australian duck against Kiwi teams, falling 18-12 to the Blues.

The loss takes the Australian record against Kiwi teams to 0-15 this year and in truth, they were never really a chance.

It was a valiant effort from the Brumbies but they weren't able to open enough space in the Blues' defensive line to consistently threaten.

That meant they had to rely on penalties from Wharenui Hawera to keep them in touch and he had his radar working off the tee but penalties alone were never going to be enough.Matt Duffie nearly scored this screamer tonight. Photo: Getty ImagesThe Blues are the weakest team in the New Zealand Conference but they're still a solid side and they created opportunity after opportunity, eventually doing enough to break the Brumbies line.

The home side missed 54 tackles in the loss - a number far higher than their normal rate given they are one of, if not the best defensive team in Super Rugby.

They showed that in the first half, as the Blues peppered their line with wave after wave of attack.

They made 82 tackles to the Blues' 44, though they did miss an additional 20.

The Blues dominated territory and possession and threatened to break the game open through George Moala and Sonny Bill Williams but the home side held firm.

It took 31 minutes for Matt Duffie to score the first try of the night - seven minutes after he nearly scored an absolute screamer in the right hand corner.Charlie Faumuina tries to brush Scott Fardy. Photo: Getty ImagesThe 8-3 deficit quickly turned into a 9-8 lead for the Brumbies, as the reliable right boot of Wharenui Hawera kept the Brumbies alive in the second half when they could not trouble the Blues' defensive line.

That trend continued throughout the remainder of the match.

The Brumbies were able to apply enough pressure on the Blues to force penalties for Hawera to capitalise on but not enough to break the Blues' line.

Tom Banks was the only genuine threat and he made a pair of eye catching line breaks but he blew a try with the first one, burning Henry Speight as he screamed for the ball outside of him.

The sealing try came off the back of a glorious Augustine Pulu pass following a dominant Blues scrum, which gave Duffie the chance to dish a slick pop pass inside to Melani Nanai.


Brumbies 12



Pens: Hawera 4

Blues 18

Tries: Duffie, A Ioane, Nanai


Pens: Francis