The Brumbies have gone down to the Blues 20-19 at Eden Park in Auckland, Dan McKellar’s side showing tremendous bravery to come back from a 20-7 half-time deficit.
Late tries to replacement hooker Lachlan Lonergan were not enough to force the result, the Blues hanging on to book their place in the Harvey Norman Super Rugby Pacific final.
The Brumbies shot out of the traps in the third minute, Irae Simone scoring from 40 metres out in a breathtaking display of pace and power.
In his final game for the club, Simone left the Brumbies family with a special memory, the centre gliding past multiple Blues defenders to score.
Lolesio converted, and although chances would come, it was the Blues who would score the rest of the first half points, first through the boot of Stephen Perofeta, and through tries from Hoskins Sotutu and Mark Telea.
20-7 was a fair reflection of the Blues clinical first-half display, the Brumbies needing to lift against the home side in the second.
The response came, and the Brumbies began to get a foothold in the game, Lachlan Lonergan getting his first of the night not long after joining the fray.
His second would push the Brumbies to within three, Noah Lolesio showing steely reserve to nail the conversion.
In the closing moments, the Brumbies forced a turnover, but Lolesio’s attempted dropgoal was charged down, and the Blues managed to close out the game, the final score 20-19.
THE BARRETT SHOW
Beauden Barrett produced yet another masterclass to steer the Blues to victory.
The All Blacks' playmaker didn't get onto the scoreboard, with his drop goal falling just short, but he played a major role in unlocking the Brumbies' defence.
The pivot made more carries (14), more metres (99), and beat more defenders (8) than any other player.
He also won two turnovers and made a clean break.
BLUES 20 (TRIES: Sotutu, Telea, CONS: Perofeta 2/2, PENS: Perofeta 2/2, DROP GOALS: Barrett 0/1)
BRUMBIES 19 (TRIES: Simone, L Lonergan 2, CONS: Lolesio 2/3, DROP GOAL: Lolesio 0/1)
Blues: 15 Stephen Perofeta, 14 AJ Lam, 13 Rieko Ioane, 12 Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, 11 Mark Telea, 10 Beauden Barrett (captain), 9 Finlay Christie, 8 Hoskins Sotutu, 7 Adrian Choat, 6 Akira Ioane, 5 Tom Robinson, 4 Josh Goodhue, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Kurt Eklund, 1 Alex Hodgman
Replacements: 16 Soane Vikena, 17 Karl Tu’inukuafe, 18 Ofa Tuungafasi, 19 Luke Romano, 20 James Tucker, 21 Sam Nock, 22 Tamati Tua, 23 Zarn Sullivan
Brumbies:15 Tom Banks, 14 Tom Wright, 13 Ollie Sapsfor, 12 Irae Simone, 11 Andy Muirhead, 10 Noah Lolesio, 9 Nic White, 8 Rob Valetini, 7 Pete Samu, 6 Tom Hooper, 5 Caderyn Neville, 4 Darcy Swain, 3 Allan Alaalatoa (captain), 2 Folau Fainga’a, 1 James Slipper.
Replacements: 16 Lachlan Lonergan, 17 Scott Sio, 18 Sefo Kautai, 19 Nick Frost, 20 Luke Reimer, 21 Jahrome Brown, 22 Ryan Lonergan, 23 Hudson Creighton.