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Sat 29 May 2021 | 11:16

VIDEO: Blues thump Brumbies in Auckland

VIDEO: Blues thump Brumbies in Auckland
Sat 29 May 2021 | 11:16
VIDEO: Blues thump Brumbies in Auckland
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SUPER RUGBY TRANS-TASMAN REPORT: The Blues climbed back to the top of the Super Rugby Trans-Tasman standings after they thumped the Brumbies 38-10 at Eden Park on Saturday.

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The home side outscored their opponents by five tries to one during the 80 minutes to secure a bonus point.

It is the Blues’ third win in a row, while the Brumbies will head back to Australia still without a win in the tournament.

Brumbies hooker Connal McInerney scored from a Brumbies maul to turn a period of dominance into a 10-7 lead with five minutes to play in the first half at Eden Park.

But they went to the break down 17-10, a penalty after a sloppy restart followed by a weaving try to Finlay Christie that exposed some flaky defence close to the line.

The Blues didn’t give Dan McKellar’s men a sniff in the second half, AJ Lam’s try with 20 minutes to play creating a 31-10 lead before Folau Fainga’a was yellow-carded after continuous Brumbies infringements.

Scrumhalf Nic White completed a successful return from injury, engineering a crafty assault of the short-priced favourites in the first half.

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They played close to the lines to expose the Blues’ line-out and build momentum from their scrum.

That helped the Brumbies overcome an opening try to the Blues that came after a head-scratching line-out penalty that had everyone confused.

But the Brumbies then allowed the red-headed Christie to duck and dive between five Brumbies close to the line, the visitors finished with 31 missed tackles as the Blues also dominated the breakdown.

“He looked like a ginger running from the sun looking for shade,” Blues captain Tom Robinson told the broadcast post-game.

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“He’s such an awesome dude and it was a huge moment; that little win there got us that momentum.

“In the first half we let them in through what we call dumb-arse penalties … and we sorted them out in the second half.”

It completed a tough slog of three games across the Tasman since their gutting loss to the Queensland Reds in the Super Rugby AU Final.

Man of the match: Blues scrumhalf Finlay Christie was the star of the show. His distribution was excellent and he defended like a man possessed. He also scored one of the tries of the season.

The scorers:

For Blues:
Tries: Eklund, Christie, Heem, Lam, Faiane
Cons: Black 4, Plummer
Pen: Black

For Brumbies:
Try: McInerney
Con: Lolesio
Pen: Lolesio

Yellow card: Folau Fainga’a (Brumbies, 71 -collapsing the maul)

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

Referee: Damon Murphy
Assistant referees: Ben O’Keeffe & Lauren Jenner
TMO: Glenn Newman

AAP & @rugby365com

PV: 16
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VIDEO: Blues thump Brumbies in Auckland | Rugby365