As cliched as it might sound, it really was a tale of two halves in the penultimate match of Super Round at Melbourne’s AAMI Park.
Ultimately, the Brumbies prevailed in a thriller against the Blues – taking the contest 25-20.
The first 40 minutes were a tit-for-tat contest with each side seemingly responding to every point scored.
READ MORE: Tubby’s radical solution to save Test cricket
READ MORE: ‘Biggest players’ in sport’s shadows revealed
READ MORE: Greats divided over solution to NRL concussion drama
The second half was a far cry from the first, with no points scored and neither team really threatening to score.
In the end, the men from the capital took the scalp and with it their second straight win of the Super Rugby Pacific season.
“Yeah mate, it was ugly, the last 15 to 20 minutes,” Noah Lolesio told Stan Sport pundit and Rugby World Cup winner Sonny Bill Williams.
“Against a side like the Blues, sometimes you’ve just got to win ugly.
“I’m really glad on how we fought through it.
“The Blues are a quality side and I’m sure that they’ll light up later this year.
Watch the 2023 Super Rugby Pacific season on the home of rugby, Stan Sport. All matches streaming ad free, live and on demand
“Really happy with how we finished up there.
Lolseio credited coach Steven Larkham’s approach to bringing players off the bench to finish strong and seal the deal.
“He just wants experience, at the moment, to come off (the bench) for the last 30, 35 (minuted),” Lolesio explained.
“The key for us when we come on is to not overplay our hand and I felt like we did that.
“We got a bit too excited at times obviously because we want to play, especially in that second half.
“The second half of that game we really wanted to play territory because, again, a quality side like the Blues, if we overplay we turn over the ball and they’ve got guys like Rieko (Ioane), Beauty (Beauden Barrett) who can just light it up.
“That was our game plan going into the game.”
All told, the Brumbies scored three tries to the Blues’ two.
The Blues were arguably too error-prone, conceding 17 penalties while the Brumbies made just nine.
The Brumbies will face the Reds in round three while the Blues will go head-to-head with the Hurricanes.
For a daily dose of the best of the breaking news and exclusive content from Wide World of Sports, subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here!