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Chiefs win back to back Super Rugby titles

Man of the match and tryscorer Liam Messam charges towards the tryline

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Article Published: Saturday 3 August 2013|

The Chiefs had to come from 10 points behind twice to beat the Brumbies 27-22 and win their second Super Rugby title in Hamilton.

The Brumbies led for most of the match had a comfortable 9-16 lead at half time before the Chiefs fought their way back into the match in the final quarter.

Brumbies mid-fielder Christian Lealiifano scored all of the Brumbies points and matched Joe Roff's 22 point record in the 2004 Super Rugby final.

Lealiifano scored the Brumbies only try which he converted and also kicked five penalties.

Liam Messam won man of the match - for the second year running after he scored the Chiefs second try.

The Chiefs claimed their second Super crown in as many years with a 15-point closing burst after trailing 12-22 with 17 minutes to go.

Before a packed crowd of 25,000 at Waikato Stadium, the Chiefs outscored the Brumbies two tries to one.

Liam Messam and Robbie Robinson both crossed the line while Aaron Cruden landed one conversion and five penalties.

Through a quirk of the draw the Chiefs did not play the Brumbies in the regular season and were caught off-guard early by the marauding Brumbies pack, led by captain and backrower Ben Mowen, which kept scrumhalf Tawera Kerr-Barlow under pressure.

As the Brumbies worked their way through the Jake White coaching handbook they kicked for position, put pressure on a scrambling Chiefs to draw penalties, and inside-centre Lealiifano had them 9-0 ahead inside the first quarter.

The Chiefs, favouring an expansive running game, managed to draw level through three quick penalties by Aaron Cruden before Lealiifano produced the first try of the match.

When the Brumbies flat-line defence forced the Chiefs to rush their clearance from a ruck, Lealiifano snapped up a looped pass to run 42 metres to score in the corner and he then converted his own try.

A further Lealiifano penalty extended their lead to 19-9 immediately after half-time, and a further exchange of three-pointers with Cruden had the visitors up 22-12 before the Chiefs found top gear .

As the Brumbies began to tire after travelling to South Africa and then New Zealand in the play-offs, Liam Messam scored the Chiefs' opening try by charging around the side of a five-metre scrum.

Then replacement fullback Robinson joined on the end of Asaeli Tikoirotuma for the second try, which Cruden converted and added a further penalty.

In the space of seven minutes the Chiefs produced a winning 15-point burst to become only the fourth side to win back to back Super titles.

Chiefs coach Dave Rennie praised his side's courage for the way they fought back when the Brumbies were leading.

"It was a messy first half. They were able to get in and slow a lot of our ball and steal ball and we got sucked into trying to push too many passes. "

"So there was real character shown in that second half. "

"We got great impact off the bench," said Rennie.

Final Score Chiefs 27 (9) Brumbies 22 (16)


Tries - L.Messam, R.Robinson
Pen - A.Cruden 5
Con - A.Cruden
Drop -
Cards -

Tries - C. Lealiifano
Pen - C.Lealiifano 5
Con - C.Lealiifano
Drop -
Cards -

Match Officials
: Craig Joubert
Assistant Ref 1:Chris Pollock
Assistant Ref 2:Garratt Williamson/Grant Stuart
TMO : Vinny Munro



1.Toby Smith , 2.Hika Elliot , 3.Ben Tameifuna , 4.Craig Clarke (c) , 5.Brodie Retallick , 6.Liam Messam , 7.Tanerau Latimer , 8.Matt Vant Leven , 9.Tawera Kerr-Barlow , 10.Aaron Cruden , 11.Asaeli Tikoirotuma , 12.Andrew Horrell , 13.Charlie Ngatai , 14.Lelia Masaga/Robbie Robinson , 15.Gareth Anscombe

Replacements : 16.Rhys Marshall , 17.Ben Afeaki , 18.Michael Fitzgerald , 19.Sam Cane , 20.Augustine Pulu , 21.Bundee Aki , 22.Robbie Robinson/Patrick Osborne.


1. Scott Sio ,2. Stephen Moore ,3. Ben Alexander ,4. Scott Fardy ,5. Sam Carter ,6. Peter Kimlin ,7. George Smith ,8. Ben Mowen (c) ,9. Nic White ,10. Matt Toomua ,11. Clyde Rathbone ,12. Christian Lealiifano ,13. Tevita Kuridrani ,14. Henry Speight ,15. Jesse Mogg

Replacements:16. Siliva Siliva ,17. Ruan Smith ",18. Fotu Auelua (,19. Colby Faingaa ,20. Ian Prior ,21. Andrew Smith ,22. Joe Tomane

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