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Blues

FULL-TIME
16     14

Brumbies

Super Rugby | Auckland
07:35 (GMT) | 10-04-2015
  • 81
Join us tomorrow for more live coverage of Super Rugby with the Crusaders taking on the Highlanders first up.
  • 80
Nic White has dragged the kick to the left, and that brings the game to FULL-TIME. The Blues win 16-14.
  • 79
Gibson-Park feeds the scrum but the Blues scrum fails again and the Brumbies are awarded a penalty. Nic White has an opportunity to win the game with a long-ranged penalty. The hooter has blown.
  • 78
The Brumbies have the ball with less than 2 minutes on the clock, but they lose it forward and the Blues have a scrum on the 50m line.
  • 75
Kaino decides to go for the poles. West now lines up a difficult kick from the corner. West shows nerves-of-steel and nails the kick.
  • 74
Blues restart and the Brumbies clear for touch to the Blues 10m. Blues win the line-out and are on the attack. West spreads wide to Saili. West puts Moala in space down the right hand touchline, and takes play to 8m out. the Blues receive a penalty in the corner- decision time for the Blues.
  • 73
Lealiifano raises the flags from in front of the posts to put the Brumbies in the lead.
  • 72
Gibson-Park feeds the scrum, and Kaino picks up and pops back to the scrumhalf, as he kicks out on the full for a Brumbies line-out on the Blues 22m. Brumbies set the maul and drive it 20 meters right to the line, playing with penalty advantage. Penalty awarded after no advantage and Lealiifano points to the posts.
  • 69
Blues have the ball after the restart, but West dropped the ball and the Brumbies sprint through with Dargaville. Kaino makes an excellent cover tackle. The brumbies spread quickly to Fardy with the Blues under pressure. White swings the ball the opposite direction but Smit drops the ball for a Blues scrum on their 22m.
  • 67
Leallifano converts the penalty to bring the score within 2 points.
  • 66
Brumbies win the line-out and Speight takes it to contact trying to wriggle his way through the tackle. Brumbies throw a forward pass and the Blues have a scrum on their 22m. The Blues are penalised at scrum time and this one is out in front for Lealiifano.
  • 64
Blues win the line-out and are on attack on the Brumbies 10m. They can't breach the Brumbies defence and Pocock wins another penalty on the ground. Brumbies opt for touch.
  • 62
Blues win a tighthead and the Blues go wide and take it up with Ahki. Pocock wins a penalty on the ground for the Brumbies. White kicks for touch, and Brumbies have aline-out on the Blues 22m. Blues steal the line-out as Bowden puts it high and the Blues regather possession. Gibson-Park puts a box-kick and Brumbies have a line-out on their own 5m. they secure the ball and clear for touch.
  • 59
Brumbies kick from the Blues restart and Piutau counters hard with pace. Luatua drops the ball for a Brumbies scrum on the 50m line.
  • 57
Lealiifano misses the conversion from the corner.
  • 56
Carter wins the line-out and Lealiffano takes ir strongly to the line. Brumbies now edging towards the line after 25 phases. White eventually throws a cut-out pass on the blind-side, straight to Taliauli who dives over for the try in the corner.
  • 53
Brumbies have turned it over in contact as the Brumbies spread wide to Speight and Lealiifano puts a grubber through putting Piutau under pressure, but he is composed as he steps his way out of danger and hacks into touch for a Brumbies line-out inside the Blues 22m.
  • 51
Brumbies kick deep and the Blues counter as Nanai finds some space down the touchline. Blues awarded a penalty and Bowden kicks for the corner. Blues secure the line-out inside the 22m of the Brumbies. The maul goes to ground and Pocock wins a penalty on the ground for the away side. Textbook David Pocock. White misses touch and the Blues begin an attack from the half-way line.
  • 49
Kaino picks up from the base of the scrum. Bowden puts one high as Ahki regains, and the Blues are back in Brumbies territory. Bowden puts the ball to the boot to look for space behind the brumbies, but the ball creeps over the try-line as the Brumbies dot it down for a 22m.
  • 47
Blues restart as their is a kick-exchange. Piutau puts one high and on the full, off the side of the boot. Blues disrupt the line-out and earn a scrum from a Brumbies knock-on on the Blues 10m.
  • 45
Lealiifano lines up a shot out front and converts to put the Brumbies on the board.
  • 44
Brumbies secure the ball and they pick-and-go inside the 22m. Lealiifano is at first receiver and he pops inside to Sio who bumps off some defence. Referee Andrew Lees brings play back for a Brumbies penalty as the Blues were off-side.
  • 43
Lealiifano kicks for touch but is under pressure from Kaino and results in the kick going out on the full. Blues secure the line-out and Moala runs straight and hard after Bowden gives him the ball. Blues have gone backwards and Faumuina loses the ball for a Brumbies scrum. Faumuina is penalised at the scrum White kicks for touch, putting the Brumbies inside the Blues 22m.
  • 41
SECOND-HALF: Blues flyhalf Dan Bowden gets the half underway.

Half Time

  • 40
Blues rumble forward with a maul, the hooter has blown as Gibson-Park chips out to bring us to HALF-TIME.
  • 39
Gibson-Park feeds and Bowden takes play to the other end with a kick down the center of the field. Coleman replies with a punt into touch for a Blues line-out.
  • 38
Brumbies now playing in midfield on the Blues 10m. White loses the ball and its a scrum for the Blues wide-out to the right in midfield.
  • 35
Bowden converts from the corner. What a strike.
  • 34
Carter secures the line-out but the throw is not straight. Blues opt for the scrum. Moala makes good yards as he off-loads to Nanai. Blues now playing with penalty advantage on the Brumbies 5m. Bowden runs short-side, shows a dummy, and finds a hole. He stretches for the line for the try.
  • 32
Blues have split their backline attack at the scrum, Gibson-Park feeds, but White intercepts the pass from the Blues. the Brumbies now with a line-out on their 22m.
  • 30
Bowden kicks for touch and the Blues have a line-out on the 22m of the Brumbies. They secure the line-out and bust through the Brumbies defence, as Kaino links up and finds a hole. Brumbies give a penalty away on their 5m. The Blues opt for a scrum.
  • 28
Blues receive a penalty, and Bowden over-cooks the kick for touch. Brumbies come back for a scrum on the halfway. White feeds and plays Taliauli, who is on for the injured Toomua. He breaks the first two tacklers and White goes wide again but Fardy throws a lose pass out. Blues receive a penalty from the line-out for the same infringement for early contact on the jumper.
  • 25
Blues restart and Coleman puts it high. Piutau collects and Blues link up to move forward. Gibson-Park stabs a grubber through to give the Brumbies a line-out on their own 5m. The Brumbies clear as the blues have a line-out on the Brumbies 22m. Pockock steals the ball on the ground and Lealiifano clears but the Blues take it quickly.
  • 22
Lealiifano misses from in front of the sticks.
  • 21
Sam Carter penalised again for off-side, and the Blues kick for touch to gain the line-out just inside the Brumbies half. The Blues set the maul but is untidy and driven into touch. The Brumbies secure their line-out and go wide as Speight makes some ground. White goes blind and puts Tomane in space to take the ball into the 22m of the Blues. The Brumbies were playing with advantage and they come back for a penalty in front of the poles on the Blues 22m.
  • 17
Bowden from 40m out in front, converts to extend the lead for the Blues.
  • 16
Blues have penalty advantage and the Brumbies are now penalised for off-side. Sam Carter the guilty player. Bowden attempts another shot at goal.
  • 15
Bowden's kick hits the poles. Coleman clears and Piutau launches a counter.
  • 14
Brumbies win the line-out and Coleman clears for touch and takes the game up to the 10m line of the away team. Brumbies are penalised at the line-out for early contact on theBlues jumper. Bowden lines-up a shot for goal 40m out.
  • 12
Blues have a line-out on the Brumbies 22m line, and they win it. Blues now attacking with the forwards working-away going forward in contact. Gibson-Park goes blind and Tu'ungafasi drops the ball out.
  • 10
Gibson-Park feeds the scrum just outside the Blues 22m. Blues receive a penalty for Alexander collapsing. Bowden kicks for touch.
  • 8
Blues defence holds up Sio and they are awarded a scrum. Great work by Kaino in contact.
  • 7
Brumbies with a line-out on the Blues 10m line. Fardy secures the ball, as Speight crashes forward. Brumbies are are moving forward towards the 22m. 10 phases for the Brumbies as White controls the breakdown.
  • 4
Brumbies restart. The Blues are awarded a penalty and Bowden attempts the 3 points. The flags are raised as he puts the Blues in the lead.
  • 2
Blues receive the ball, and Piutau immediately kicks down field. toomua collects and finds touch woth the boot for a Blues line-out. The Blues secure the ball and begin an attack in the midfield. Bowden cross-kicks for Halai and he regains the ball, popping it but Gibson-Park hacks it in the in-goal area. Toomua dots down for the 22m drop-out.
  • 0
KICK-OFF: Brumbies flyhalf Matt Toomua gets the game underway.
  • -10
The conditions at Eden Park are dry for now, with expected showers during the match. There is also a strong wind blowing in Auckland.
  • -20
The Brumbies have won the last two meetings between the sides, but have never won three on the trot against the Blues. The Blues are currently on a nine-match losing streak; their worst-ever run of form.
  • -30
Welcome to live coverage of Round 9 of Super Rugby with the Brumbies taking on the Blues at Eden Park in Auckland.
Mc blues logo 80x50
Blues
Mc brumbies logo 80x50
Brumbies
START LINE UP
  • 15 Charles Piutau
  • 14 Frank Halai
  • 13 Pita Ahki
  • 12 George Moala
  • 11 Melani Nanai Vai
  • 10 Dan Bowden
  • 9 Jamison Gibson-Park
  • 8 Jerome Kaino
  • 7 Brendon O'Connor
  • 6 Luke Braid
  • 5 Patrick Tuipulotu
  • 4 Josh Bekhuis
  • 3 Charlie Faumuina
  • 2 James Parsons
  • 1 Ofa Tu'ungafasi
RESERVES
  • 23 Francis Saili
  • 22 Ihaia West
  • 21 Jamie Booth
  • 20 Steven Luatua
  • 19 Hayden Triggs
  • 18 Angus Taavao-Matau
  • 17 Sam Prattley
  • 16 Keven Mealamu
START LINE UP
  • 15 Robbie Coleman
  • 14 Joe Tomane
  • 13 Henry Speight
  • 12 Christian Lealiifano
  • 11 James Dargaville
  • 10 Matt Toomua
  • 9 Nic White
  • 8 Jarrad Butler
  • 7 David Pocock
  • 6 Scott Fardy
  • 5 Sam Carter
  • 4 Blake Enever
  • 3 Ben Alexander
  • 2 Stephen Moore
  • 1 Scott Sio
RESERVES
  • 23 Nigel Ah Wong
  • 22 Lausii Taliauli
  • 21 Michael Dowsett
  • 20 Ita Vaea
  • 19 Jordan Smiler
  • 18 Ruan Smith
  • 17 Jean-Pierre Smith
  • 16 Josh Mann-Rea
Mc article john kirwan pensive 630

Preview: S15 Round Nine, Part One

Wed, 08 Apr 2015 22:37

Desperate times call for desperate measures. It may be a well-worn cliche, but it certainly rings true for a few of the teams in Round Nine.

Desperate times call for desperate measures. It may be a well-worn cliche, but it certainly rings true for a few of the teams in Round Nine.

We have just one Friday game and that includes a very desperate - winless - Blues team hosting the Australian conference leaders, the Brumbies, at Eden Park in Auckland.

The media have not let up on Blues coach John Kirwan and according to some publications in Aotearoa he has already been fired. All that must be determined is his departure date.

However, Kirwan has stood his ground and remains adamant his tem is still in with a chance of reaching the play-offs, although he admitted this week the Blues were "running out of runway".

Saturday starts with the big New Zealand South Island derby, the sixth-placed Crusaders hosting the fifth-placed Highlanders in Christchurch.

One point separates them on the standings, but even if they were poles apart, there is always plenty of feeling in these derbies and emotions tend to boil over.

The first half of our preview for this week concludes with the encounter between the defending champion Waratahs and the Stormers, desperate to break their tour duck.

We look at the first half of the weekend's matches!

Friday, April 10

Blues v Brumbies
(Eden Park, Auckland - Kick-off: 19.35; 17.35 AEST; 07.35 GMT)

The winless Blues, according to coach Kirwan, can't buy a trick.

"It's about those small moments, we had our chances and didn't take them," Kirwan said this week, after their seventh straight loss.

The Brumbies are well aware that a team as desperate as the Blues will not be holding anything back - making them a tricky hurdle.

Prop Scott Sio made no secret of the Brumbies' apprehension ahead of the trip across the Tasman Sea.

Even though the Blues are winless and stone last, they will play their first real home match this season - after Eden Park was used for the cricket World Cup and they were forced to play their other 'home' matches in Albany.

"It's a massive test this week," Sio said.

"We've got a lot of respect for them and we know we have to front up.

The scrum and the set-piece will be another big part in winning and continuing on in this competition."

Sio said dominance is what they are trying to build their game on.

"Just like back in the 1980s and 1990s, whoever was dominant on the day generally won," he added.

Recent results:
2014: Brumbies won 26-9, Canberra
2013: Brumbies won 20-13, Auckland
2012: Blues won 30-16, Canberra
2010: Blues won 39-34,Auckland
2009: Brumbies won 37-15, Canberra
2008: Brumbies won 16-11, Auckland

Prediction: The last eight meetings between the Blues and Brumbies have followed a pattern of two victories followed by two defeats for the Auckland-based side. If this run were to continue, they would win this game. The Brumbies have won the last two meetings between the sides, but have never won three on the bounce against the Blues. The Blues are currently on a nine-match losing streak; their worst-ever run of form. The Blues have averaged more rucks lost per game than any other side this season (5.3). The Brumbies have forced a worse ruck success rate (91 percent) from their opponents than any other team. The Brumbies have managed more opening quarter tries (seven) than any other side this season, while the Blues have scored the joint-fewest (one). The Blues appear to lack the belief to pull off the numerous close defeats this season. The Brumbies, in contrast, look a well-coached and structured team. They should win by about 10 points.

Teams:

Blues: 15 Charles Piutau, 14 Frank Halai, 13 Pita Ahki, 12 George Moala, 11 Melani Nanai, 10 Dan Bowden, 9 Jamison Gibson-Park, 8 Jerome Kaino (captain), 7 Brendon O'Connor, 6 Luke Braid, 5 Patrick Tuipulotu, 4 Josh Bekhuis, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 James Parsons, 1 Ofa Tu'ungafasi.
Replacements: 16 Keven Mealamu, 17 Sam Prattley, 18 Angus Ta'avao, 19 Hayden Triggs, 20 Steven Luatua, 21 Jamie Booth, 22 Ihaia West, 23 Francis Saili.

Brumbies: 15 Robbie Coleman, 14 Joe Tomane, 13 Henry Speight, 12 Christian Lealiifano, 11 James Dargaville, 10 Matt Toomua, 9 Nic White, 8 Jarrad Butler, 7 David Pocock, 6 Scott Fardy, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Blake Enever, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Stephen Moore (captain), 1 Scott Sio.
Replacements: 16 Josh Mann-Rea, 17 JP Smith, 18 Ruan Smith, 19 Jordan Smiler, 20 Ita Vaea, 21 Michael Dowsett, 22 Lausii Taliauli, 23 Nigel Ah Wong.
 
Referee: Andrew Lees
Assistant referees: Nick Briant, Brendon Pickerill
TMO: Ben Skeen

Saturday, April 11

Crusaders v Highlanders
(AMI Stadium, Christchurch - Kick-off: 19.35; 07.35 GMT)

Were the Sharks really that bad, or were the Crusaders that good?

That has been the question asked since the seven-time champions put 50-odd points past the Sharks in Durban last week.

The Highlanders will provide the answer to that, as they are a team capable of testing the resolve of even the most powerful outfits.

While the Crusaders had to make the long trek across the Indian Ocean - a well documented fact that the east-to-west trip takes more out of teams - the Highlanders come off a bye.

Highlanders coach Jamie Joseph said the side was looking forward to the derby.

'The guys are jumping around getting ready for a tough challenge against the Crusaders,'' Joseph told the Otago Daily Times.

''The Crusaders are coming off a 50-point win over the Sharks. They really smashed them, so we know we are going to be up against it.

"Obviously, their confidence should be high so that basically means we are going up there and are going to have to play very well.''

The Highlanders, who have already had their two byes, are one point and a position above the Crusaders.

Joseph said the next phase of the season was the coming four weeks when the side had two games away from home and two in Dunedin.

They travel to Christchurch, then return to Dunedin to play the Blues, nip over to Australia and play the Brumbies, before returning home to play the Sharks at home before heading overseas.'

Recent results:
2015: Crusaders won 26-20, Dunedin
2014: Crusaders won 34-8, Christchurch
2014: Crusaders won 32-30, Dunedin
2013: Crusaders won 40-12, Dunedin
2013: Crusaders won 24-8, Christchurch
2012: Crusaders won 51-18, Christchurch
2012: Highlanders won 27-24, Dunedin

Prediction: The Crusaders have won their last six against the Highlanders; another victory would equal their best run of seven wins on the bounce against the Dunedin-based side. The Highlanders have failed to reach double figures in their last two away games against the Crusaders. The Highlanders are playing away from home for just the second time this season. The Crusaders boast the best scrum success rate (95 percent) in the competition. The Highlanders' line-out success rate (91 percent) is the second-best this year behind the Brumbies (92 percent). Eleven of the Crusaders' 25 tries this year have been in the third quarter of matches, no other side has scored more than seven in the same period. Only the Waratahs (six) have conceded more five-pointers in the same timeframe than the Highlanders (five). You can never discount the Highlanders, but the smart money will be on the Crusaders to win - by less than 10 points.

Teams:

Crusaders: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 David Havili, 13 Kieron Fonotia, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Nemani Nadolo, 10 Colin Slade, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Matt Todd, 6 Jordan Taufua, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Jimmy Tupou, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Ben Funnell, 1 Joe Moody.
Replacements: 16 Codie Taylor, 17 Alex Hodgman, 18 Nepo Laulala, 19 Scott Barrett, 20 Richie McCaw, 21 Mitchell Drummond, 22 Dan Carter, 23 Nafi Tuitavake.

Highlanders: 15 Ben Smith (co-captain), 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Shaun Treeby, 11 Patrick Osborne, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Nasi Manu (co-captain), 7 James Lentjes, 6 Elliot Dixon, 5 Joe Wheeler, 4 Tom Franklin, 3 Josh Hohneck, 2 Ash Dixon, 1 Brendon Edmonds.
Replacements: 16 Liam Coltman, 17 Daniel Lienert-Brown, 18 Pingi Tala'apitaga, 19 Mark Reddish, 20 Dan Pryor, 21 Fumiaki Tanaka, 22 Marty Banks, 23 Jason Emery.

Referee: Glen Jackson (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Kane McBride (New Zealand), Shane McDermott (New Zealand)
TMO: Glenn Newman (New Zealand)

Waratahs v Stormers
(Allianz Stadium, Sydney - Kick-off: 19.40, 11.40 SAST; 10.40 GMT)

The defending champion Waratahs will get their first taste of South African opposition this season.

The Stormers, desperate to end the three-match losing streak that has seen them drop from first to ninth in the last month, are just one-point and one spot on the table behind the Waratahs.

Not even the absence of captain Duane Vermeulen - rested in accordance with a request from Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer - can convince the Waratahs that the Stormers are a soft touch.

Waratahs defence coach Nathan Grey, said that the Stormers would still provide a serious challenge for the defending champions.

"They're a very physical side," Grey said.

"Yes, Vermeulen's not playing, but they're getting back Juan De Jongh, another starting player, their vice-captain who has been named as their captain [in replace of Vermeulen]," Grey said.

"You lose a bit somewhere you gain somewhere else. They played very well against the Hurricanes last week and were a little bit unlucky not to get a result there. But they provide a lot of firepower across the park and they've got good skills so we're very much aware of that."

Stormers assistant coach Robbie Fleck was equally complimentary of the opposition this week.

"The Waratahs are a quality outfit," Fleck said in a teleconference call from Sydney.

"They've proven it over the past few years, having taken on the best teams in Super Rugby and beating them.
 
"They're big, they ask a lot of questions of you defensively and their defence is accurate too.

"We need to be at our best against them, but we have taken confidence from the ‘Canes match and will use that on Saturday," he said.

Recent results:
2014: Waratahs won 22-11, Cape Town
2013: Waratahs won 21-15, Sydney
2012: Stormers won 19-13, Cape Town
2010: Stormers won 25-6, Cape Town (semifinal)
2010: Stormers won 27-6, Cape Town
2009: Waratahs won 12-6, Sydney

Prediction: The Waratahs have won 12 of their last 13 at home in Super Rugby; their average margin of victory in those 12 wins is
18.5 points. The Tahs have won the last two meetings between the sides, but have never won three games in a row against the Stormers. None of the last eight meetings between the sides have seen 40+ points on the board. The Waratahs have won fewer turnovers per game (5.2) than any other side this season, while opponents of the Stormers have averaged fewer turnovers won (5.4) than vs any other opponent. The Stormers have managed more scrum steals than any other side this season and have forced a lower success rate (74 percent) at the opposition feed than any other team. Only Damian de Allende (29) has beaten more defenders than Israel Folau (26) so far this season. This is probably the game of the weekend, so much at stake for two quality teams just outside the play-off zone. The Stormers are close to breaking that drought, but the Waratahs may just have the edge on them - and will win by less than 10 points.

Teams:

Waratahs: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Taqele Naiyaravoro, 13 Matt Carraro, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Rob Horne, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Wycliff Palu, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Jacques Potgieter, 5 David Dennis (captain), 4 Will Skelton, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Tolu Latu, 1 Benn Robinson.
Replacements - from: Tatafu Polota-Nau, Jeremy Tilse, Paddy Ryan, Mitchell Chapman, Pat McCutcheon, Stephen Hoiles, Brendan McKibbin, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Jono Lance, Peter Betham.
 
Stormers: 15 Cheslin Kolbe, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Juan de Jongh (captain), 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Dillyn Leyds, 10 Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Michael Rhodes, 6 Schalk Burger, 5 Manuel Carizza, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Siyabonga Ntubeni, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Replacements: 16 Mbongeni Mbonambi, 17 Oliver Kebble, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Jean Kleyn, 20 Siya Kolisi, 21 Louis Schreuder, 22 Kurt Coleman, 23 Huw Jones.

Referee: Mike Fraser (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Angus Gardner, James Leckie (New Zealand)
TMO: Peter Marshall

Compiled by Jan de Koning
@King365ed
@rugby365com


Statistical information provided by Opta Sports

Mc article jerome kaino blues v brumbies 630

Blues break their duck

Fri, 10 Apr 2015 09:29

REPORT: The Blues recorded their first win of the Super Rugby season, a dramatic 16-14 victory over the Brumbies in Auckland on Friday.

The Blues recorded their first win of the Super Rugby season, a dramatic late penalty by replacement Ihaia West giving them a 16-14 win over the Brumbies in Auckland on Friday.

The Blues scored the only first-half try as they dominated the opening 40 minutes, taking a 13-0 lead into the half-time break.

The Brumbies, who fumbled their way through the first half, found their rhythm to score a try and three Christian Lealiifano penalties to take the lead (14-13) with less than 10 minutes to go.

Then, with just over two minutes on the clock, West stepped up for a touchline penalty and nailed it to secure his team a morale-boosting win.

The win sees the Blues move off the bottom of the standings - above the Reds and Western Force - while the Brumbies remain in second place on the standings and top of the Australian conference, despite the loss.

It took a wet day in Auckland to snap a seven-game drought for the Blues.

The Brumbies had a chance to regain the lead on the stroke of full-time, only for Nic White's long-range penalty to fall short.

Although the heavy rain that lashed Auckland through the day had cleared by kick-off, the ground was slippery and the bottom-placed New Zealand team fared much better in the greasy conditions than the leading Australian side.

They led 13-0 at half-time, with Daniel Bowden scoring all the points in the first 40 minutes from a converted try and two penalties.

The Blues then survived a sustained comeback by the Brumbies who hit the lead 14-13 with six minutes remaining before replacement flyhalf West coolly regained the lead for the Blues with his sideline penalty.

As Bowden piled on the  points in the first half, handling errors proved costly for the Brumbies with repeated turnovers as they failed to control the wet ball.

With their one early scoring chance, Christian Lealiifano missed a penalty attempt from point blank range in the first half, but made no mistake with a similar opportunity at the start of the second spell.

After a patient build-up lasting 25 phases the Brumbies scored their sole try of the game with replacement wing Lausii Taliauli and a further Lealiifano penalty cut the Blues' lead to 13-11 with 14 minutes remaining.

The Brumbies hit the front for the first time in the 74th minute from a third Lealiifano penalty after they had muscled their way 25 metres up to the Blues line with an all-in line-out drive involving backs and forwards.

It sparked a frantic end to the game with West regaining the lead for the Blues before White came up short with the final play of the game.

Man of the match: In a match of two halves Jerome Kaino and David Pocock went head-to-head in an intriguing display. While Pocock was the more impressive of the two as he helped the Brumbies get back in their game, Kaino's all-round game is what won him the award.

The scorers:

For the Blues:
Try:
Bowden
Con: Bowden
Pens: Bowden 2, West

For the Brumbies:
Try:
Taliauli
Pens: Lealiifano 3

Teams:

Blues: 15 Charles Piutau, 14 Frank Halai, 13 Pita Ahki, 12 George Moala, 11 Melani Nanai, 10 Dan Bowden, 9 Jamison Gibson-Park, 8 Jerome Kaino (captain), 7 Brendon O'Connor, 6 Luke Braid, 5 Patrick Tuipulotu, 4 Josh Bekhuis, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 James Parsons, 1 Ofa Tu'ungafasi.
Replacements: 16 Keven Mealamu, 17 Sam Prattley, 18 Angus Ta'avao, 19 Hayden Triggs, 20 Steven Luatua, 21 Jamie Booth, 22 Ihaia West, 23 Francis Saili.

Brumbies: 15 Robbie Coleman, 14 Joe Tomane, 13 Henry Speight, 12 Christian Lealiifano, 11 James Dargaville, 10 Matt Toomua, 9 Nic White, 8 Jarrad Butler, 7 David Pocock, 6 Scott Fardy, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Blake Enever, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Stephen Moore (captain), 1 Scott Sio.
Replacements: 16 Josh Mann-Rea, 17 JP Smith, 18 Ruan Smith, 19 Jordan Smiler, 20 Ita Vaea, 21 Michael Dowsett, 22 Lausii Taliauli, 23 Nigel Ah Wong.
 
Referee: Andrew Lees
Assistant referees: Nick Briant, Brendon Pickerill
TMO: Ben Skeen

Dan Bowden (34min)
TRIES
Lausii Taliauli (56min)
Dan Bowden (35min)
CONVERSIONS
Dan Bowden (4min), Dan Bowden (17min), and Ihaia West (75min)
PENALTIES
Christian Lealiifano (45min), Christian Lealiifano (67min), and Christian Lealiifano (73min)
 
PENALTY TRIES
 
DROP GOALS
 
 
 
VENUE Auckland
REFEREE Andrew Lees