Vodacom Super 14

Blues edge past Brumbies

2010-03-19 10:48
Stephen Brett (Gallo)
Auckland - Flyhalf Stephen Brett slotted a last-gasp drop goal to ensure the Blues held on to a slim lead and beat the Brumbies 39-34 in their Super 14 match at Eden Park on Friday.

Brett's 78th-minute drop goal allowed his team to celebrate Blues captain Keven Mealamu's 100th Super rugby appearance for the Auckland-based franchise with a win.

"Very special today. What a celebration it is to top it off with a good win," Mealamu said in a televised interview. "It's not getting any easier but I still love the game."

Brumbies flyhalf Matt Giteau was the difference during a bruising first half, slotting three penalties and a conversion of tighthead prop Salesi Ma'afu's early try, and drove the Blues back into their own territory with raking kicks.

Blues winger Joe Rokocoko scored a try for the home side, while Brett converted and slotted a penalty but the Blues were guilty of too many errors and gave away penalties at crucial times to go into the break 16-10 down.

The Blues exploded in the first 15 minutes of the second half running in four tries to Rene Ranger, Benson Stanley, Rokocoko, who caught a superb cross-kick from Brett, and Isaia Toeava.

Brett converted three, though Giteau slotted two further penalties to keep the Brumbies in touch before replacement hooker Huia Edmonds barrelled over to make it 36-27 with 20 minutes remaining.

Patrick Phibbs scored a late try for the Brumbies, which Giteau converted to pull the score to 36-34 with four minutes left before Brett calmly gave his side the breathing room.

"I think they just turned it on and we missed a few individual tackles and that's all it takes against a side like this," Brumbies captain Stephen Hoiles said of the Blues attack in the second half. "Those tries were really what hurt us."

Read more on:    joe rokocoko  |  matt giteau

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