Super rugby Trans Tasman

Blues go top after beating Brumbies

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The Blues beat the Brumbies 38-10 in a lopsided Super Rugby Trans-Tasman clash at Eden Park, Auckland.

The Blues went back on top of the Super Rugby Trans-Tasman table after a hard-fought, but ultimately comfortable, bonus-point victory.

The Auckland side goes ahead of the Hurricanes on points difference with each team winning three from three while claiming maximum points.

Leon MacDonald’s men scored five tries to one as they blew away the bewildered Brumbies in the 28-point win.

Kurt Eklund, Finlay Christie, Bryce Heem, AJ Lam, and TJ Faiane all crossed for the home team.

Super Rugby Trans-Tasman Round 3 Video Highlights: Blues vs Brumbies, Eden Park, Auckland

Otere Black landed four conversions and a penalty after another flawless display from the kicking tee. Harry Plummer converted Faiane’s late five-pointer.

Connal McInerney scored the only try for Dan McKellar’s charges, who never looked scoring again.

Noah Lolesio converted and kicked a penalty, but that was as good as it got for the Australians in the City of Sails.

The Blues took a 17-10 halftime lead after two tries by Eklund and Christie

Zarn Sullivan missed a long-range penalty from the halfway line to open the scoring.

The Blues were, however, soon on the board in the 16th-minute when Eklund flopped over from a driving maul.

The hooker needed some help from flanker Dalton Papalii to get him over the chalk after the maul broke up.

Lolesio reduced the deficit with a 23rd-minute penalty after another scrum penalty.

Both scrums were winning and conceding penalties, but it was the visitor’s pack who had the edge.

The visitors had the better of the game up to this point, they had scrum dominance, were stealing lineouts, and causing problems at the breakdown.

Mistakes from the hosts did not help their cause, and patience became a problem.

The Brumbies’ only try of the game came when hooker McInerney crashed over from a typical well-worked driving maul to give the visitors a three-point lead.

It would be the last points McKellar’s side would score.

Black levelled four minutes later before a brilliant try gave the hosts a deserved halftime advantage.

However, the Blues kept coming, and the pressure turned to points when Rieko Ioane set up Christie on the stroke of halftime.

It was a stunning solo try by the halfback, which came from Ioane’s linebreak.

Ioane ran from 10m to 10m, drew the cover defender before sending the scrumhalf away.

Christie still had lots to do before beating five defenders with a weaving 30-metre run to the line.

MacDonald’s men increased the tempo and squeezed the life out of the Brumbies after the interval

Last week’s hat-trick hero Heem dotted down eight minutes after halftime after some quick hands by Black.

The flyhalf converted to increase Leon MacDonald’s side’s lead to 14.

Lam crossed before the hour after some good work by Faiane. The centre sucked in two defenders before sending the winger away for the bonus-point score.

Folau Fainga’a was yellow-carded because of repeat infringements by the Aussies with 10 minutes to play for collapsing a rolling maul.

Faiane, after setting up a try, nabbed one for himself to seal the deal as the New Zealander club delivered another crushing defeat to an Australian franchise.

Final Score: Blues 38 (17) Brumbies 10 (10)

Scorers

Blues
Tries – Eklund, Christie, Heem, Lam, Faiane
Pen – Black
Con – Black (4), Plummer
Drop –
Cards –

Brumbies
Tries – McInerney
Pen – Lolesio
Con – Lolesio
Drop –
Cards – Fainga’a (Yellow, 70′)

Match Officials
Referee: Damon Murphy
Assistant Ref 1: Ben O’Keeffe
Assistant Ref 2: Lauren Jenner
TMO: Glenn Newman

Teams

Blues

15 Zarn Sullivan, 14 Bryce Heem, 13 Rieko Ioane, 12 TJ Faiane, 11 AJ Lam, 10 Otere Black, 9 Finlay Christie; 8 Hoskins Sotutu, 7 Dalton Papalii, 6 Tom Robinson (captain), 5 Josh Goodhue, 4 Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, 3 Marcel Renata, 2 Kurt Eklund, 1 Karl Tu’inukuafe

Replacements:
16 Soane Vikena, 17 Alex Hodgman, 18 Nepo Laulala, 19 Patrick Tuipulotu, 20 Akira Ioane, 21 Jonathan Ruru, 22 Harry Plummer, 23 Mark Telea

Brumbies

15 Tom Banks, 14 Solomone Kata, 13 Len Ikitau, 12 Irae Simone, 11 Tom Wright, 10 Noah Lolesio, 9 Nic White, 8 Henry Stowers, 7 Tom Cusack, 6 Rob Valetini, 5 Nick Frost, 4 Darcy Swain, 3 Allan Alaalatoa (captain), 2 Connal McInerney, 1 Scott Sio

Replacements:
16 Folau Fainga’a, 17 Harry Lloyd, 18 Sefo Kautai, 19 Tom Hooper, 20 Luke Reimer, 21 Ryan Lonergan, 22 Bayley Kuenzle, 23 Mack Hansen

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