20 Apr 2024

Blues blow Brumbies away in Auckland

9:24 pm on 20 April 2024
Hoskins Sotutu is congratulated after scoring during the round 9 Super Rugby Pacific match between the Blues and Brumbies at Eden Park.

Hoskins Sotutu is congratulated after scoring during the round 9 Super Rugby Pacific match between the Blues and Brumbies at Eden Park. Photo: Photosport

The Blues have hammered the Brumbies 46-7 at Eden Park.

Billed as the game of the round, it was far from a contest as the Blues routed the Brumbies 46-7 in an absolute demolition job.

It was a meeting of second and third on the points table, but the Blues showed a chasm in class between the two teams, running in seven tries in the wet at Eden Park.

Blues number eight Hoskins Sotutu bagged a brace in the win and told Sky Sport that after eight rounds they were building momentum.

"From the beginning of the season we have been building, and after that bye we knew we could pick up where we left off."

He said it was crucial they fronted up physically.

"We know that we can carry well and with the wet weather it was a point we needed to go to."

Blues skipper Patrick Tuipulotu said they knew they had to respect the Brumbies.

"We were a bit lumpy in the last quarter but we knew if we backed ourselves and our physicality, we would get that result."

The Brumbies enjoyed some early territory as a strong Ollie Sapsford run resulted in Taufa Funaki being sent to the bin for a professional foul with the Brumbies held up over the line.

They couldn't cash in, however, and the Blues would string multiple phases together at the other end.

The pressure proved too much, as Sotutu powered over for the opening try.

The Brumbies turned down an easy three points and went to the corner, only to knock on at the lineout.

They again opted for the sideline shortly after - this time a Sotutu turnover thwarting the attack.

Caleb Clarke slides in to score.

Caleb Clarke slides in to score. Photo: Photosport

With a penalty inside the 22, the Blues put down a scrum and Caleb Clarke rocketed on to a flat Taufa Funaki pass, monstering his way through several Brumbies defenders to score.

Harry Plummer pushed the Blues ahead by another three points before a Sapsford error gave the Blues a chance for more points before halftime.

It would seem they survived when Ricky Riccitelli was held up on the siren, but Noah Lolesio put his line drop out on the full.

The hosts punished the error as Sotutu scored his second from the ensuing penalty to take a commanding 24-0 at the break.

It took less than five minutes for the Blues to strike after oranges as Dalton Papali'i went in off the back of a strong rolling maul.

James Slipper was then binned for head contact on Blues lock Laghlan McWhannell.

It went from bad to worse for the Brumbies as Ryan Lonergan fumbled the ball at the base of a scrum just five metres from his own line and Funaki pounced for the Blues' fourth.

It was made to look easy when Riccitelli rumbled over from another unstoppable lineout drive.

It took 64 minutes, but the Brumbies finally cracked the Blues' defence through replacement Luke Reimer.

The Blues would respond through substitute hooker Kurt Eklund, who was driven over the chalk for a seventh.

The Blues head to Brisbane next weekend for a clash with the Reds, who are fresh off hammering the Highlanders 31-0.

Meanwhile, the Brumbies get a visit from the table-topping Hurricanes.


Blues 46 (Sotutu 2, Clarke, Papali'i, Funaki, Riccitelli, Eklund tries, Plummer 4 cons, 1 pen)

Brumbies 7 (Reimer, try, Lolesio 1 con)

Caleb Clarke celebrates with his Blues teammates.

Caleb Clarke celebrates with his Blues teammates. Photo: Photosport