Lame Brumbies lose 17-0 to Blues - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Lame Brumbies lose 17-0 to Blues

02/04/2005 09:32:14 PM Comments (0)

The ACT Brumbies suffered another bunch of high profile casualties as the defending Super 12 rugby champion crashed to an historic 17-0 loss to the Blues' at Auckland.

Winger Clyde Rathbone (knee) was expected to miss four to six weeks and prop Guy Shepherdson (ankle) six to eight after they were injured in the first half.

There was also bad news for five-eighth Stephen Larkham, who was expected to undergo an x-ray on a possible broken arm also suffered in the first half.

The Brumbies started the night with a full strength line-up for the first time this season, but Rathbone and Shepherdson left the field within the first 15 minutes and Larkham was off by the 25th.

Nothing else went right for the Brumbies as they became the first Australian team in the tournament's 10 seasons to be held scoreless.

The Blues' third victory of the season would have tasted especially sweet for assistant coach David Nucifora, who was released by the Brumbies last year despite steering the Canberra franchise to its second Super 12 title.

Brumbies coach Laurie Fisher - who replaced Nucifora - felt it was the efficiency of the Blues defence and their greater physical presence which was the major factor, rather than any inside knowledge possessed by his predecessor.

"They were far more physical than us, they put us in bad body positions on the ground and we struggled to recycle the ball effectively," he said.

Larkham, who missed the last two matches following surgery to remove a melanoma from his left leg, made three trips to the sideline before finally being replaced within 25 minutes.

"There was a little bit of oozing from the wound, but the issue was he had hurt his arm by then and it could be a break," Fisher said.

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