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Brumbies make light work of stuttering Blues

Jesse Mogg passes the ball as Rene Ranger lines up for a tackle

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Article Published: Saturday 25 May 2013|

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The Brumbies ended a two match losing streak when they beat the Blues 13-20 at Eden Park in Auckland.

Weather conditions in the match were poor but the loss is the Blues second in as many weeks as they lost to the Crusaders last week.

The Brumbies dominated the first half of the match as they scored a try and two penalties while keeping the Blues scoreless.

The Blues fought their way back into the match in the second half with a Rene Ranger try and two penalties but could not close the gap closer than four points.

The Brumbies built a 14-0 half time lead with a strong wind behind them in the first half then held with the gale in their faces to win th match.

The Brumbies' traditional kicking game was more suited than the Blues' ball-in-hand style to the wet and windy conditions at Eden Park, allowing them to post their eighth win from 13 matches this season and to retain first place in the Australian conference after 15 rounds.

Scrumhalf Nic White scored a superb first-half try and inside center Christian Lealiifano enhanced his Wallabies credentials by kicking five penalties from seven attempts in a clinical Brumbies' performance.

The first half was decisive. After the Blues won the toss and chose to give away the wind which, with sheeting rain, made conditions treacherous, the Brumbies camped in the Blues' half throughout the first half and built a commanding lead.

Lealiifano made it more likely he will play at inside centre for the Wallabies against the British and Irish Lions next month when he kicked penalties in the second, 13th and 41st minutes.

White scored a try which cleverly exploited the conditions, pouncing on a box kick and skidding over the line in the 22nd minute to help the Brumbies build a commanding halftime lead.

The Blues fought back as was to be expected in the second half, closing the gap to 14-10 when center Rene Ranger scored a brilliant try in the 53rd minute.

After superb initial play by George Moala and Frank Halai, scrumhalf Piri Weepu made a telling break and passed to Ranger who was too powerful to stop in slippery conditions.

Lealiifano and Blues' replacement Baden Kerr exchanged penalties to make the score 17-13 after 65 minutes, then Lealiifano clinched the Brumbies' win with his last penalty eight minutes from full time.

Brumbies captain Ben Mowen said his team's first half performance was decisive.

"We definitely stuck to our game plan, which is good," he said.

"When we woke up this morning and saw the rain was coming down we felt pretty comfortable because that was how we'd planned all week.

"To come out here and play in the conditions as they were in the first half and execute out plan, I thought the guys were really good tonight."

Final Score Blues 13 (0) Brumbies 20 (14)

Scorers

Blues
Tries - R.Ranger
Pen - C.Noakes, B.Kerr
Con - C.Noakes
Drop -
Cards -

Brumbies
Tries - N.White
Pen - C.Lealiifano 5
Con -
Drop -
Cards -

Match Officials
Referee
: Lourens van der Merwe
Assistant Ref 1:Jonathon White
Assistant Ref 2:Nick Briant
TMO : Glenn Newman

Teams

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,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

1. Scott Sio ,2. Stephen Moore,3. Ben Alexander ,4. Scott Fardy ,5. Sam Carter ,6. Peter Kimlin ,7. Colby Faingaa ,8. Ben Mowen (C) ,9. Nic White ,10. Matt Toomua,11. Joe Tomane,12. Christian Lealiifano,13. Tevita Kuridrani ,14. Henry Speight,15. Jesse Mogg

Replacements:16. Siliva Siliva,17. Ruan Smith ,18. Fotu Auelua,19. Jordan Smiler,20. Ian Prior ,21. Robbie Coleman,22. Clyde Rathbone.

 
 
 
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