The University of Canberra Brumbies have held off a fast-finishing Blues outfit in Auckland on Saturday night, winning 20-13 in wet and soggy conditions at Eden Park.
It was a win the Brumbies needed to stay in touch with the top of the table and despite the at times driving rain, the visitors managed to keep composure and sink the Blues.
Nic White, Matt Toomua and Christian Lealiifano governed the backs nicely while Stephen Moore, Scott Fardy and Colby Faingaa led the forwards by example.
“After the disappointment of last week it was important we got things right tonight. Even in the rain the Blues were willing to run it from anywhere,” Head Coach Jake White said.
“We’re probably not where we need to be yet, there is plenty to work on next week but I’m pleased to be leaving Auckland with a win.
After Peter Kimlin twice went within inches of scoring and Toomua was ruled off side by the TMO, White was the first to grab a five pointer, scooping up a loose grubber kick to slide across the line.
Penalties edged the Brumbies ahead further and when Faingaa managed to hold the Blues up with minutes to the bell, momentum was back with the visitors heading to the sheds 14-0 up.
Rene Ranger had the Blues back in the game running through five would-be tacklers to score, but the Brumbies maintained their composure as Lealiifano’s five penalties eventually kicked his team to victory.
The Blues showed some desperate attacking skills late in the game, but deep kicking from the Brumbies halves kept them pinned out of reach.
The University of Canberra Brumbies now have two home-Friday night games on the trot, with the Hurricanes heading to Canberra this week and the high-flying Rebels the next.
University of Canberra Brumbies 20 (Nic White try; Christian Lealiifano 5 penalties) bt Blues 13 (Rene Ranger try; Chris Noakes, Baden Kerr penalties; Chris Noakes conversion) at Eden Park last night. Referee: Lourens van der Merwe. Crowd: 10,811