Planet Rugby

Brumbies edge out the Blues

25th May 2013 10:18

Share:

jesse mogg blues brumbies

Attacker: Jesse Mogg

Christian Lealiifano kicked 15 points as the Brumbies overcame the Blues 20-13 in grim conditions in Auckland on Saturday.

Foul weather at Eden Park resulted in swirling wind and rain, turning basic handling into a lottery with both forwards and backs struggling to maintain possession.

The Brumbies did enough in the first half to get the upper hand over a slippery ball, building up a 14-0 advantage that the Blues were unable to reverse.

Heading into half-time having not scored a single point, a rollicking from Blues boss John Kirwan appeared to inspire his side into a second-half comeback as Rene Ranger crossed for an impressive try.

An early mistake from Ali Williams, the New Zealand lock who announced his international retirement earlier this week, handed Lealiifano an early opportunity for three points after the Blues went offside.

Matt Toomua was denied a try by the TMO after being marginally offside as the handling errors mounted - an effective Brumbies maul amounting to nothing after the ball slipped from Toomua's hands going forward.

The visitors opted to keep the ball tight with their pack and it paid off, mounting pressure in front of the Blues line resulting in an easy three points for Lealiifano - the Brumbies leading 6-0 after the opening quarter.

A phenomenal piece of skill from Nic White then put the Brumbies comfortably ahead. George Moala struggled to control the high ball from a box kick and White hacked on, sliding in from five metres out for the opening try.

The Blues first real chance to attack in the Brumbies 22 almost yielded their first points, but flanker Luke Braid was held up as he crossed the line.

Jesse Mogg nearly added three more points up the other end with a long-range penalty effort that fell wide to the right, but the visitors remained comfortably in front as the Blues continued to make handling errors at crucial moments.

Toomua's persistent kicking to the corner resulted in a five-metre scrum for the Brumbies just before the break - the resulting collapse leading to another shot at goal for Lealiifano out on the left, putting the visitors 14-0 ahead at half-time.

John Kirwan's fiery message to his side at the break brought an instant rewards as Chris Noakes added the first points of the match for the hosts.

With momentum swinging back in their favour the Blues cut the deficit - Piri Weepu's half-break releasing Ranger who broke through the Brumbies defence to cross over in the corner, with Noakes adding the conversion.

Lealiifano's penalty reestablished a seven-point lead as the Brumbies managed to dilute the Blues' surge, but with conditions improving the hosts opened up their game and produced more attacking opportunities.

Baden Kerr added another three points after the Blues won a penalty at the scrum to set up a tense finish heading into the final ten minutes, before Lealiifano eased those nerves with his fifth penalty of the night.

With 20 minutes of the match dominated by reset scrums, it was only appropriate that the Brumbies closed out the win with one inside the Blues half, White clearing to touch to take four points back to Canberra.

The scorers:

For Blues:
Try: Ranger
Con: Noakes
Pens: Noakes, Kerr

For Brumbies:
Try: White
Pens: Lealiifano 5

Blues: 15 Charles Piutau, 14 Frank Halai, 13 Rene Ranger, 12 Francis Saili, 11 George Moala, 10 Chris Noakes, 9 Piri Weepu, 8 Peter Saili, 7 Luke Braid, 6 Brendon O'Connor, 5 Ali Williams (c), 4 Culum Retallick, 3 Angus Ta'avao/Sam Prattley, 2 Keven Mealamu, 1 Tim Perry.
Replacements: 16 James Parsons, 17 Sam Prattley/Ofa Tu'ungafasi, 18 Anthony Boric, 19 Kane Barrett, 20 Jamison Gibson-Park, 21 Baden Kerr, 22 Jackson Willison.

Brumbies: 15 Jesse Mogg, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Christian Lealiifano, 11 Joe Tomane, 10 Matt Toomua, 9 Nic White, 8 Ben Mowen (c), 7 Colby Faingaa, 6 Peter Kimlin, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Scott Fardy, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Scott Sio.
Replacements: 16 Siliva Siliva, 17 Ruan Smith, 18 Fotu Auelua, 19 Jordan Smiler, 20 Ian Prior, 21 Robbie Coleman, 22 Clyde Rathbone.

Referee: Lourens van der Merwe (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Jonathon White (New Zealand), Nick Briant (New Zealand)
TMO: Glenn Newman (New Zealand)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 5
Northampton vs Gloucester19:45
Saturday , September 6
Saracens vs Wasps14:00
Sale vs Bath14:00
Leicester vs Newcastle15:00
London Irish vs Harlequins16:30
Sunday , September 7
London Welsh vs Exeter14:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Rugby Championship
Saturday , September 6
New Zealand vs Argentina08:35
Australia vs South Africa11:05
More Rugby Championship fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , September 5
Ospreys vs Benetton Treviso19:35
Munster vs Edinburgh19:35
Saturday , September 6
Scarlets vs Ulster14:40
Connacht vs Newport Gwent D'gons17:00
Glasgow vs Leinster17:15
Sunday , September 7
Zebre vs Cardiff Blues17:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , September 5
Montpellier vs Castres20:45
Saturday , September 6
Brive vs Toulouse14:45
Clermont Auvergne vs Racing Metro Paris17:00
Lyon vs Oyonnax18:30
Stade Francais vs Bayonne18:30
Grenoble vs La Rochelle18:30
Toulon vs Bordeaux-Begles20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , September 5
Western Province vs Eastern Province Kings19:10
Saturday , September 6
Cheetahs vs Pumas15:00
Sharks vs Griquas17:05
Blue Bulls vs Lions19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Sunday , August 31
Taranaki 41 - 3 Bay Of PlentyTaranaki vs Bay Of Plenty Report
Auckland 16 - 16 TasmanAuckland vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Top 14
Saturday , August 30
La Rochelle 37 - 25 ToulouseLa Rochelle vs Toulouse Report
Grenoble 37 - 23 Bordeaux-Begles
Oyonnax 33 - 6 Stade Francais
Castres 30 - 6 BayonneCastres vs Bayonne Report
Racing Metro Paris 17 - 10 ToulonRacing Metro Paris vs Toulon Report
Lyon 24 - 6 Brive
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Griquas 25 - 36 CheetahsGriquas vs Cheetahs Report
Eastern Province Kings 22 - 41 LionsEastern Province Kings vs Lions Report
Blue Bulls 18 - 23 Western ProvinceBlue Bulls vs Western Province Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Counties Manukau 21 - 27 Hawkes BayCounties Manukau vs Hawkes Bay Report
Southland 22 - 33 Otago
North Harbour 16 - 22 WaikatoNorth Harbour vs Waikato Report
More ITM Cup results
Top 14
Friday , August 29
Clermont Auvergne 20 - 21 MontpellierClermont Auvergne vs Montpellier Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Pumas 32 - 22 SharksPumas vs Sharks Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Wellington 21 - 27 ManawatuWellington vs Manawatu Report
Thursday , August 28
Canterbury 48 - 3 NorthlandCanterbury vs Northland Report
Wednesday, August 27
Waikato 17 - 46 TaranakiWaikato vs Taranaki Report
Sunday , August 24
Manawatu 7 - 35 AucklandManawatu vs Auckland Report
Bay Of Plenty 27 - 56 TasmanBay Of Plenty vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 23
New Zealand 51 - 20 AustraliaNew Zealand vs Australia Report
Argentina 31 - 33 South AfricaArgentina vs South Africa Report
More Rugby Championship results
Top 14
Brive 6 - 21 Clermont AuvergneBrive vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Bayonne 38 - 12 Oyonnax
More Top 14 results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath00
2Exeter00
3Gloucester00
4Harlequins00
5Leicester Tigers00