The Blues continued their disappointing run away from home, succumbing to the Brumbies 26-9 in Canberra tonight.
While the Blues remain undefeated Eden Park this season, they have also failed to win away from home as they were completely outplayed by the Brumbies at a wet and miserable GIO Stadium.
Spearheaded by classy fullback Jesse Mogg and with Matt Toomua and Nic White chiming in on occasions, the Brumbies pinned the Blues in their own half with a tactically astute kicking game and forced them into errors.
The Blues just couldn’t compete with the superior kicking game of the Brumbies as their bombs were rarely chased and well diffused by Mogg who then made them pay by drilling the ball deep into the corners.
“I think they were really aggressive at the first breakdown, kicked us into the corners and played a really good tactical game,” Blues head coach Sir John Kirwan said.
“There were a couple of moments in the game where we could have turned them around but it didn’t go our way so I thought they played a really good game against us and we didn’t get anything going. It was pretty frustrating because we just couldn’t play our brand of football.”
The only try of the first half came after just eight minutes as Pat McCabe, who was a standout in the Brumbies backline, sliced through some poor defence.
After making the initial bust through the Blues midfield, a few phases later McCabe was back in the action as he brushed off Simon Hickey to slide over the whitewash.
Hickey atoned for his missed tackle just moments later with a penalty kick to narrow the deficit to 3-7, however two consecutive penalty kicks to Brumbies sharpshooter Nic White gave the home side a handy 13-3 lead.
The Blues rarely held the ball in the first half but when they did they were their own worst enemy, constantly making errors and not stringing enough phases together to pressure the Brumbies.
Hickey managed to peg back the score to 6-13 at the break, and the Blues came out firing early in the second half with Liaki Moli making a thunderous run downfield.
Hickey slotted another penalty kick to bring the score to 9-13, but that was as close as the Blues could get as the Brumbies proceeded to overrun the visitors.
Once again it was Mogg ,who had been so integral to the Brumbies’ success, tonight who instigated the try, taking a high ball and setting a platform before the ball was flung wide to McCabe who crashed over in the corner for his second try of the night.
Wing Robbie Coleman then crossed in the corner to extend the Brumbies lead, before Christian Lealiifano nailed a penalty kick with nine minutes remaining to clinch the 26-9 victory.
The Blues now have the bye to regroup before facing the Hurricanes in Wellington.