The Brumbies ended the Chiefs’ unbeaten run when they won 26-14 in Hamilton on Saturday, writes ANDRE HUISAMEN.
The Chiefs were coming off the back of a big victory over the Sunwolves last weekend, while the Brumbies tasted defeat for the first time this campaign last Saturday when they narrowly lost to the Highlanders.
But the team from Canberra made an emphatic start to the game, scoring two quick tries through Tom Banks and Solomone Kata.
The Brumbies applied the early pressure and were brilliant in using their backline to full effect to attack the Chiefs’ defence.
Their forwards also fronted up to the challenge and were physical from the outset. It led to Pete Samu diving over from the back of a scrum for the Brumbies’ third try of the match as they took a 19-0 lead into half time.
The Brumbies were absolutely ruthless and continued their intensity in the second half when Samu burst through the Chiefs defence to go in for his second try and the Brumbies’ fourth.
The home side finally got on the scoresheet with a try through Aaron Cruden as they got some momentum going.
The Chiefs were also boosted when Brumbies prop James Slipper was sent to the sin bin for not retreating 10 metres after a quick tap by Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi.
And they immediately capitalised on the one-man advantage when Anton Lienert-Brown bashed over next to the poles to get the Chiefs within 12 points of the Brumbies.
The Chiefs found a new gear but the Brumbies were up for it and their defence stood very firm in the final 10 minutes as they kept Chiefs out.
Warren Gatland’s men threw everything at it in the final stages but it proved in vain as the Brumbies hung on for their third win of the season.
Chiefs – Tries: Aaron Cruden, Anton Lienert-Brown. Conversions: Cruden (2).
Brumbies – Tries: Tom Banks, Solomane Kata, Pete Samu (2). Conversions: Noah Lolesio (3).
Chiefs – 15 Damian McKenzie, 14 Sean Wainui, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Alex Nankivell, 11 Sam McNicol, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 8 Pita Gus Sowakula, 7 Sam Cane (c), 6 Luke Jacobson, 5 Mitchell Brown, 4 Michael Allardice, 3 Atu Moli, 2 Bradley Slater, 1 Aidan Ross.
Subs: 16 Samisoni Taukei’aho, 17 Reuben O’Neill, 18 Ross Geldenhuys, 19 Naitoa Ah Kuoi, 20 Mitchell Karpik, 21 Lisati Milo-Harris, 22 Kaleb Trask, 23 Quinn Tupaea.
Brumbies – 15 Tom Banks, 14 Solomone Kata, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Irae Simone, 11 Andy Muirhead, 10 Noah Lolesio, 9 Joe Powell, 8 Pete Samu, 7 Will Miller, 6 Rob Valetini, 5 Murray Douglas, 4 Cadeyrn Neville, 3 Allan Alaalatoa (c), 2 Connal McInerney, 1 James Slipper.
Subs: 16, Lachlan Lonergan, 17 Scott Sio, 18 Tom Ross, 19 Nick Frost, 20 Lachlan McCaffrey, 21 Ryan Lonergan, 22 Bayley Kuenzle, 23 Toni Pulu.
Photo: Phil Walter/Getty Images