Chiefs cruise past Brumbies

The Chiefs secured a 12th win of the season as they comfortably overcame the Brumbies 28-10 in Hamilton on Saturday.

Although the Chiefs failed to secure a bonus point, the result was never in doubt, with Damian McKenzie collecting an 18-point haul courtesy of a try, three penalties and two conversions.

Despite fielding a weakened team, the Brumbies did well to trail by just three points at the break after Nigel Ah Wong cancelled out McKenzie's opening try, but they never appeared likely to push the hosts all the way.

The Chiefs had looked set to take a more significant lead into half-time, but a possible try to James Lowe was ruled out due to a forward pass in the build-up.

However, when Brumbies scrumhalf Tomas Cubelli received a yellow card for cynical play just after the restart, the Chiefs made them pay as Solomona Alaimalo went over to score soon after.

McKenzie then slotted his third penalty to open up a 21-10 lead by the hour mark, with the Chiefs comfortably closing out the game from there as Michael Leitch dotted down in the corner in the 71st minute.

Despite the result, the Chiefs have to settle for a third-place finish in the New Zealand conference after the Hurricanes beat the Crusaders, while for the Brumbies, they will head to the playoffs on the back of a second successive defeat.

Chiefs  Tries: Damian McKenzie, Solomona Alaimalo, Michael Leitch,. Conversions: McKenzie (2). Penalties: McKenzie (3).
Brumbies – Try: Nigel Ah Wong. Conversion: Wharenui Hawera. Penalty: Hawera.

Chiefs – 15 Damian McKenzie, 14 Solomon Alaimalo, 13 Alex Nankivell, 12 Charlie Ngatai, 11 James Lowe, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 8 Michael Leitch, 7 Lachlan Boshier, 6 Liam Messam, 5 Mitchell Brown, 4 Michael Allardice, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Nathan Harris, 1 Kane Hames.
Subs: 16 Liam Polwart, 17 Aidan Ross, 18 Atu Moli, 19 Tom Sanders, 20 Mitchell Karpik, 21 Finlay Christie, 22 Stephen Donald, 23 Shaun Stevenson.

Brumbies – 15 Jordan Jackson-Hope, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Nigel Ah Wong, 12 Andrew Smith, 11 James Dargaville, 10 Wharenui Hawera, 9 Tomas Cubelli, 8 Lolo Fakaosilea, 7 Jarrad Butler, 6 Scott Fardy (c), 5 Blake Enever, 4 Tom Staniforth, 3 Leslie Leulua'iali'i-Makin, 2 Robbie Abel, 1 Nic Mayhew.
Subs: 16 Josh Mann-Rea, 17 Scott Sio, 18 Ben Alexander, 19 Ben Hyne, 20 Tom Cusack, 21 Jordan Smiler, 22 Ryan Lonergan, 23 Tom Banks.

Photo: Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images

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Craig Lewis