Blues upset Brumbies on the road
Sat, 14 Jul 2012 6:42p.m.
The Brumbies' Super Rugby finals hopes are now out of their hands after falling to the Blues 30-16 in a gritty encounter at Canberra Stadium.
The Australian conference leaders needed either four tries or to lose by seven or less points to cement a spot in the 2012 finals - which would be their first playoffs appearance since 2004.
But wooden spoon-contenders the Blues shocked the Brumbies, scoring three tries to one in a dominating performance to notch a 14-point victory.
The Brumbies now need a trio of game results to go their way to ensure they either remain on top of the Australian table, or earn a wildcard entry.
But even if they make it through, they now have a new spate of injuries to worry about, with Wallabies Dan Palmer and Joe Tomane both suffering injuries in the first half.
Trailing 21-13 at halftime, the Brumbies still had every chance to notch a win or at least get within the seven-point buffer with 20 minutes remaining, but allowed the Blues to put the result out of doubt with a series of penalties.
The first half was almost all Blues, who had nothing but pride to play for.
They drew first blood in the 11th minute, driving lock Liaki Moli over the line.
Playing with the kind of drive and flair that's been missing for much of their season, the Blues then made it a 14-0 deficit when Daniel Braid scored with a brilliant running try on the left.
The Brumbies were left ruing their kicking game, which gifted the Blues possession and territory.
For the first 20 minutes, the Brumbies failed to get the ball out of their own half.
It took until second quarter for the Brumbies to score a try, with Henry Speight delighting the home crowd of 14,111 with 25m run down the right sideline.
But another try to Blues winger Hadleigh Parkes saw the halftime deficit extend to 21-13.
The defeat was just the third time the Brumbies have lost at home this year.
Skipper Ben Mowen gave credit to the Auckland-based Blues, who at least get to end their rocky season under coach Pat Lam on a positive note.
"They certainly outplayed us and they had the right attitude," he told Fox Sports.
Second-placed Queensland need to score a four-try bonus point win against NSW on Saturday night to steal top spot and earn themselves a home final next Saturday.
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