The Blues finished their torrid season on a high, smashing the Brumbies 30-16 at Canberra Stadium tonight.
Casting aside a disastrous 2012 Super Rugby campaign marred by a horrendous injury toll, the Blues freed the shackles and played their best rugby of the year.
The backs were at their scintillating and game breaking best, while it was no frills yet efficient stuff from the forwards who worked industriously around the edges and shored up their performance at set piece.
Youngster Charles Piutau was sensational yet again at fullback in just his second Super Rugby game, while Sherwin Stowers, who has had very limited game time this year, was outstanding and carved up the hapless Brumbies defence with ease.
It was the sort of stuff Blues fans were expecting to see all season and it will leave many supporters and scribes scratching their heads wondering why it has taken until the last game of the season for them to show their ability.
The result sees the Blues finish the season with four wins, far below what many had anticipated for the talent laden team at the start of the year, however the way they finished the season should give the Blues faithful plenty of optimism for the 2013 season.
It was the first half where the Blues inflicted the most damage on the scoreboard as they piled on three tries in the opening stanza.
With Sherwin Stowers, Ma’a Nonu and Francis Saili slicing through some lacklustre defence, Liaki Moli capitalised on the quick front foot ball to barge over from close range after Tony Woodcock came within inches of scoring.
The visitors crossed the whitewash again just moments later following some superb passing and interchange between the forwards and backs. This time it was Francis Saili who broke the Brumbies’ defensive line and offloaded to Daniel Braid who bashed his way past Jesse Mogg to dot down.
The Brumbies were starved of both possession and territory during the first half, but they made the Blues pay with what little ball they did have as Henry Speight scored a brilliant individual try to narrow the deficit.
Ill discipline was the only thing hurting the Blues as the Brumbies managed to keep the scoreboard ticking over and at one stage came within one point of Pat Lam’s men after the Brumbies slotted two penalty goals.
However Hadleigh Parkes’ try, capping off perhaps the best attacking passage of play the Blues have produced this season as Piutau, Nonu, Stowers, Saili and Braid combined, gave the Blues a 21-13 lead at the break.
Piri Weepu kicked two penalties to one from Zack Holmes early in the second half as the quality of the match deteriorated as the heavens opened in Canberra.
Two minutes from time Michael Hobbs landed a penalty to seal the win.