Chiefs captain Aaron Cruden says that their slow start against the Brumbies in their Super Rugby qualifier cost them the match.
The Chiefs dream of a three-peat or three back to back titles was ended by the Brumbies who beat the Chiefs 32-30 in Canberra.
The Chiefs two previous titles - in 2012 and 2013 - were achieved on the back of a strong defensive structure but in the qualifier there defence went missing.
The Chiefs missed 28 first half tackles which led to three early tries by the home side in the first 20 minutes which forced the defending champions to chase the game.
They levelled the scores at 25-all in the second half before the Brumbies edged ahead again.
"We started pretty slowly and gave a quality side like the Brumbies a lead like that," said Cruden after the match.
"We did really well to peg it back and showed a lot of character, but in these play-off games you need to be clinical for 80 minutes."