Brumbies vs Blues: Five things we learned

Super Rugby
by Sam Phillips

The Blues continued the Australian misery against Kiwi teams this afternoon, beating the Brumbies comfortably at GIO Stadium.

Here's what we learned from the result.

1. Banks brilliant for Brumbies

He was likened to Chris Latham in the pre-match and in his first start at fullback, Banks lived up to the hype.

He had two line breaks which allowed him to hit top gear and he showed serious wheels.

May have cost the Brumbies an early try, though, as Henry Speight was tearing through in anticipation of an offload when Banks had just the fullback in front of him.

An impressive stat line of seven runs for 75 metres, three tackle busts and the aforementioned two line breaks should be enough to keep him in the starting XV.

2. Brumbies' defensive proficiency queried 

There has been plenty of chatter about how good the Brumbies are on the defensive end but they struggled big time tonight.

The Blues forced 54 missed tackles - 34 in the second half - which is an extraordinary amount.

The Blues did have 63 percent possession - the majority of that in the Brumbies' 22 - but elite defensive teams do not miss that many tackles.

3. Aussies still far from the mark

That's now 15 straight losses against Kiwi opposition.

And in truth, the scoreline flattered them.

Three Australian teams failed to register a try this weekend - make of that what you wish.

4. Tahs, Reds still alive

A Brumbies win this evening would have made the Australian Conference title too tough to chase down for the Waratahs and Reds.

But the sad state of the conference makes this much clear - there is only a bonus point win between the Tahs and Brumbies and just seven points between the Conference leaders and the Reds.

If those two teams can replicate the form they produced last night, they will close the gap in the back half of season 2017.

5. SBW, Moala form imposing combo

Sonny Bill Williams and George Moala will win a few more games for the Blues this year, if tonight is anything to go by.

They are an offloading, line breaking, opportunity creating machine that is really starting to hum.