Super Rugby Pacific: Blues suffer early season wake-up call, handed shock loss by Brumbies in Melbourne

The Blues have been stunned for their first defeat of the new Super Rugby Pacific season, upset 25-20 by the Brumbies at Melbourne's AAMI Park.

Entering the match as heavy favourites after their 40-point victory over the Highlanders in week one, the Blues were kept scoreless in the second half, and fell to defeat to miss the chance to move top of the table.

In a poor start to the first half, the Blues were reduced to 13 men, as two separate yellow cards were shown in the opening 10 minutes.

Blues captain Dalton Papali'i
Blues captain Dalton Papali'i Photo credit: Getty Images

Winger Caleb Clarke was given his marching orders for a deliberate knock-on, while James Lay was sin-binned after collapsing a maul that led to a penalty try and a 10-0 lead for the Brumbies.

Down to 13, the Blues then got on the scoreboard when Ricky Riccitelli went over from close range. 

The Brumbies restored their 10-point lead, though, and finally made use of their numerical advantage when winger Andy Muirhead was sent over on the right flank.

The two sides traded penalties in sweltering Melbourne heat, bringing the scores to 20-13 in the Brumbies' favour, before the Blues equalised when Tom Robinson broke the line, and beat fullback Tom Wright to cap a stunning solo effort.

But with halftime in sight, the Brumbies grabbed their third try, when hooker Lachlan Lonergan profited from a rolling maul, giving his side a 25-20 advantage at the break.

Despite the dramatic first half though, the second 40 minutes proved to be a more dogged affair.

Not a single point was scored by either side in the second half, as the Melbourne heat took its toll on the two teams.

The Blues created arguably the best chance of the second half, when Stephen Perofeta freed Rieko Ioane on the left flank.

However, with the tryline in sight, Ioane failed to find Roger Tuivasa-Sheck outside him, as a guaranteed try went begging.

That mistake would cost the Blues dearly, who fell to their first loss of the year as a consequence.

The Blues will have little time to lick their wounds, with next week bringing a Kiwi derby against the unbeaten Hurricanes in their attempt to immediately bounce back from the shock loss.

Blues 20 (Riccitelli, Robinson tries; Barrett 2 conversions; Barrett 2 penalties) 

Brumbies 25 (Muirhead, L.Lonergan tries; R.Lonergan conversion; R.Lonergan 2 penalties)

Sign up to receive news updates

By entering your email address, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Newshub and its affiliates may use your email address to provide updates/news, ads, and offers. To withdraw your consent or learn more about your rights, see the Privacy Policy.