Lealiifano to return against Canes

Lealiifano, who has been out of Super Rugby since being diagnosed with leukaemia ten months ago, had originally made his return in Brumbies colours during the team's Austbrokers Cup win over the Asia Pacific Dragons in Singapore in June and will be on the bench for the knockout tie.

Brumbies, Waratahs race for finals

The Brumbies and Waratahs hold the first two places in the conference with matching four-win, seven-loss records, although the Brumbies hold a four-point lead after taking six bonus points from their 11 matches.

Under Super Rugby's contentious playoff format, the team that tops the Australian conference will be awarded home advantage in the first round of playoffs on July 21 or 22, even though their record might be inferior to other qualifying teams.

Brumbies in a rut

Friday night's match at GIO Stadium continued their drought against overseas opposition and made it the first time they had lost four on the bounce since 2011.

It comes as they prepare to embark on a tough world tour to play South Africa's Kings in Port Elizabeth and Jaguares in Buenos Aires.

The opening 25 minutes were played almost exclusively in the Brumbies' attacking half.

But after winger James Dargaville had a try disallowed in the opening stages, Wharenui Hawera's 18th-minute penalty goal was all they had to show as they went to the break leading 3-0.

Blues outclass Brumbies 18-12 in Canberra

Despite being last in the New Zealand group, the Blues were too good for the conference-topping Brumbies in a stark illustration of the gulf between Kiwi outfits and their trans-Tasman rivals.

It was the Brumbies' third loss in a row and ninth consecutive defeat to New Zealand opposition.

The Blues dominated possession from the outset on Sunday but were unable to breach the Brumbies dogged defence for the opening half hour in front of 12,072 at GIO Stadium.

Winger Matt Duffie broke the deadlock, with a George Moala offload helping him to cross after 31 minutes.