• Brumbies shut out Blues

    The Brumbies scored three tries to beat the Blues 26-9 in wet conditions at Canberra Stadium.

    After being heavily criticised for surrendering a lead and losing to the Rebels last weekend, the Brumbies dominated from start to finish.

    The hosts struck first through Pat McCabe, whose direct approach brought him reward in the form of a deserved try. The Wallaby gathered the ball inside the Blues' 22 and steamrollered Simon Hickey before scoring under the posts.

    Nic White slotted the conversion before Hickey partially made amends for his earlier mistake, when he got his side's first points via the kicking tee, two minutes later.

    The Brumbies were in control for the rest of the half and their superior kicking game certainly had plenty to do with that. While the Blues opted to take the ball through the hands, the hosts played for territory through fine tactical kicking from White, Matt Toomua and Jesse Mogg.

    And despite his impressive start, McCabe got even better as the game progressed. His direct running stlye proved a handful for the visitors and he certainly won his personal duel with his opposite number, All Blacks midfielder Ma'a Nonu.

    With rain pouring down, the Brumbies restricted play mostly to the forwards during the opening period and although the Blues tried their best, they found the going tough.

    White added two further penalties before Hickey added his second three-pointer on the stroke of half-time which meant the Brumbies went into the break with a 13-6 lead.

    The Blues got the first points of the second half through another Hickey penalty in the 44th minute but for the rest of the match it was the hosts who stepped up a gear.

    Matt Toomua didn't come out after the break, due to injury, but his absence was hardly felt as fellow Wallaby Christian Lealiifano stepped in seamlessly as his replacement.

    The Brumbies increased their lead in the 52nd minute when Lealiifano threw a long pass to McCabe who got in at the left-hand corner for his second try. This after the hosts drew in several defenders with pick-up-and goes and driving play from their forwards.

    White missed the conversion, but four minutes later the home side was celebrating again when similar tactics saw Robbie Coleman crossing over in the same corner.

    As they were chasing the game, the Blues also conceded several penalties and Lealiifano added another three-pointer in the 70th minute.

    Brumbies – Tries: Pat McCabe (2), Robbie Coleman. Conversion: Nic White. Penalties: White (2), Christian Lealiifano.
    Blues – Penalties: Simon Hickey (3).

    Brumbies – 15 Jesse Mogg, 14 Joe Tomane, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Pat McCabe, 11 Robbie Coleman, 10 Matt Toomua, 9 Nic White, 8 Ben Mowen (c), 7 Jarrad Butler, 6 Jordan Smiler, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Scott Fardy, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Siliva Siliva, 1 JP Smith.
    Subs: 16 Josh Mann-Rea, 17 Ruan Smith, 18 Ruaidhri Murphy, 19 Jack Whetton, 20 Lachlan McCaffrey, 21 Conrad Hoffmann, 22 Andrew Smith, 23 Christian Lealiifano.

    Blues – 15 Charles Piutau, 14 Frank Halai, 13 George Moala, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Tevita Li, 10 Simon Hickey, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Steven Luatua, 7 Brendon O'Connor, 6 Jerome Kaino (c), 5 Hayden Triggs, 4 Liaki Moli, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 Tom McCartney, 1 Tony Woodcock.
    Subs: 16 James Parsons, 17 Sam Prattley, 18 Angus Ta'avao, 19 Jordan Manihera, 20 Luke Braid, 21 Sonatane Takulua, 22 Francis Saili, 23 Benji Marshall.

    Photo: Mark Nolan/Getty Images

    Post by

    Simon Borchardt