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Blues prolong Aussie misery with win

Super Rugby

The Auckland Blues scored three tries and kept the ACT Brumbies try-less to maintain New Zealand's domination over Australian teams in a bonus-point 18-12 Super Rugby win in Canberra on Sunday.

The Blues stretched the Kiwi winning streak over Australian opposition to 15 games this season.

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The Brumbies Photo: Lukas Coch, EPA

It was only the Blues' fifth win in their last 34 games away from home, but four of those wins have come in Australia.

Despite remaining last in the New Zealand conference, the Blues were too good for the Australian conference-leading Brumbies – underlining the yawning gulf between the trans-Tasman rivals.

"It's massive for us to get a bonus point in Canberra and I am extremely proud of the boys' resilience," said Blues' skipper James Parsons.

"We've had a hard time back at home but to come away and get this win sets us up nicely after the Waratahs won last night (in Brisbane), so we will be going to Sydney next week pretty happy."

Inside-centre Sonny Bill Williams and blindside flanker Steven Luatua pushed their All Blacks selection claims for the coming British and Irish Lions home series with strong performances for the Blues.

The Blues dominated possession and territory to score their tries through Matt Duffie, Akira Ioane and Melani Nanai, with Bryn Gatland landing a penalty.

Fly-half Wharenui Hawera scored all of the Brumbies' points with four penalty goals.

The Brumbies missed 54 tackles and made six handling errors but still came away with a losing bonus point for finishing within seven points. They hold a five-point lead over the NSW Waratahs in the Australian conference.

It was the Brumbies' third straight loss and their ninth consecutive defeat to New Zealand opposition.

Winger Duffie opened the scoring in the 31st minute off a George Moala offload and a Hawera penalty goal kept the Brumbies in the game at 8-3 at half-time.

Hawera reduced the gap to two points with another penalty goal three minutes into the second half and put the home team in front with his third penalty after 51 minutes.

But Auckland hit back, with No.8 Ioane driving over for a try off a well-worked lineout to lead 13-8.

The Brumbies cranked up the pressure and Hawera's fourth penalty goal edged them to within one point with 20 minutes remaining.

But the Blues capitalised on their opportunities, with a Nanai try coming off a scrum to clinch victory.

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