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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

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Rugby Internationals 2014

Round 1
Sat, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 18 vs TGA 18 Stats
FJI 25 vs ITA 14 Report Stats
NZL 20 vs ENG 15 Stats
AUS 50 vs FRA 23 Report Stats
Sun, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 47 vs WXV 13 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 29 Stats
USA 6 vs SCO 24 Report Stats
CAN 25 vs JPN 34 Stats
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Round 2
Sat, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 15 vs ITA Report Stats
FJI 45 vs TGA 17 Report Stats
NZL 28 vs ENG 27 Report Stats
AUS 6 vs FRA Report Stats
Sun, 15 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 38 vs WAL 16 Stats
CAN 17 vs SCO 19 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 23 Report Stats
USA 29 vs JPN 37 Report Stats
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Round 3
Sat, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
ARG 19 vs SCO 21 Report Stats
FJI 13 vs SAM 18 Report Stats
JPN 26 vs ITA 23 Report Stats
AUS 39 vs FRA 13 Stats
NZL 36 vs ENG 13 Report Stats
Sun, 22 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 31 vs WAL 30 Report Stats
USA 38 vs CAN 35 Report Stats
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Round 4
Sun, 29 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 55 vs SCO 6 Report Stats
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Round 5
Sun, 02 NovTimes shown AEDT
BAR 36 vs AUS 40 Stats
USA 6 vs NZL 74 Report Stats
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Round 6
Sun, 09 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 24 vs SAM 13 Report Stats
ENG 21 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
WAL 28 vs AUS 33 Report Stats
FRA 40 vs FJI 14 Report Stats
IRE 29 vs RSA 15 Report Stats
SCO 41 vs ARG 31 Report Stats
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Round 7
Sun, 16 NovTimes shown AEDT
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ENG 28 vs RSA 31 Report Stats
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SCO 16 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
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Round 8
Sun, 23 NovTimes shown AEDT
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