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One point needed, but Brumbies stumble

BRUMBIES 13 BLUES 30

Steven Luatua gets past an attempted Pat McCabe tackle Click for more photos

In pictures: Brumbies v Blues at Canberra Stadium

The Blues stunned the ACT Brumbies at Canberra Stadium, winning 30-16. The Canberra Times' Colleen Petch was there to photograph all the action. Photo: Colleen Petch

STUNNED silence ended the Super Rugby regular season at Canberra Stadium yesterday afternoon as the Brumbies crashed to an unexpected loss that killed off their finals hopes.

In one of the biggest shocks of the season, the lowly ranked Auckland Blues dominated the hapless Brumbies.

A win or a bonus-point loss would have secured the Brumbies a finals berth for the first time since 2004. Instead, the loss and subsequent victory by the Reds over the Waratahs last night ended a season that had promised more.

It was not the way the revival of the Brumbies was supposed to finish after a stunning turnaround under new coach Jake White. But the 34 missed tackles and the lack of possession crippled them. Brumbies hooker Stephen Moore - who was playing his 100th game - said the side failed to take their chances.

''They played well, we started poorly and gave a lot of ground and missed tackles away,'' Moore said. ''We didn't take our opportunities.''

The Blues had won just three games going into the match. But in a twist, it looked as if the Blues - not the Brumbies - were playing for a finals spot as they carved up the ACT defence and ran wild across the field.

Meanwhile, Western Force stalwart Nathan Sharpe's Super Rugby farewell turned into a first-half nightmare as the Crusaders cruised to a 38-24 triumph in Christchurch last night.

Chris Dutton

Log on to smh.com.au for all the overnight Super Rugby news

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Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG 0vs FJI 0 05:00Twic
TGA 0vs GEO 0 21:00Kholm
IRE 0vs CAN 0 23:30MilS
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs JPN 0 01:45Brig
FRA 0vs ITA 0 05:00Twic
SAM 0vs USA 0 21:00Brig
WAL 0vs URU 0 23:30MilS
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs ARG 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 0vs JPN 0 23:30Kholm
Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
AUS 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs ROM 0 05:00Olym
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs NAM 0 05:00Olym
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 0vs GEO 0 01:45Kholm
ITA 0vs CAN 0 23:30Ella
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SAM 0 01:45Villa
ENG 0vs WAL 0 05:00Twic
AUS 0vs URU 0 21:00Villa
SCO 0vs USA 0 23:30Ella
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 0vs ROM 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 0vs NAM 0 01:45Sand
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs CAN 0 05:00stadium:mk
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs GEO 0 05:00MilS
SAM 0vs JPN 0 23:30stadium:mk
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SCO 0 01:45St James' Park
ENG 0vs AUS 0 06:00Twic
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 0vs TGA 0 00:30KPS
IRE 0vs ITA 0 02:45Olym
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 0vs ROM 0 02:45KPS
FJI 0vs URU 0 06:00stadium:mk
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SAF 0vs USA 0 02:45Olym
NAM 0vs GEO 0 06:00Sand
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NZL 0vs TGA 0 06:00St James' Park
Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAM 0vs SCO 0 00:30St James' Park
AUS 0vs WAL 0 02:45Twic
ENG 0vs URU 0 06:00Manch
ARG 0vs NAM 0 22:00KPS
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ITA 0vs ROM 0 00:30Sand
FRA 0vs IRE 0 02:45MilS
USA 0vs JPN 0 06:00Kholm
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