Super Rugby

Brumbies conquer Chiefs in Canberra rout




The Brumbies cantered to a 54-17 victory over the Chiefs at GIO Stadium, Canberra, after a breathtaking attacking display.

The Brumbies equalled their highest first-half points’ tally in a Super Rugby match since the 2004 Final against the Crusaders, on their way to a half-century bonus-point win.

Brodie Rettallick, playing his 100th Super Rugby game, saw his team routed eight tries to two as the Chiefs crumbled under the lights in Canberra.

Dan McKeller’s team ended a four-game losing streak against the Waikato franchise, who endured a miserable night at the office.

Chance Peni and Tevita Kuridrani both collected braces to go with tries from Tom Banks, the superb Lachlan McCaffrey, Folau Fainga’a and Josh Mann-Rea.

The win was built on solid foundations, not only attacking flair. The Australians’ pack bullied the Kiwis throughout, winning all the key forward battles.

Video Highlights: Brumbies versus Chiefs

They won several scrum-penalties, their lineout was excellent (something it hasn’t been in recent times), and their driving maul was solid.

The hosts have been known to relinquish big leads before, especially against teams from across the Tasman Sea, but they dug deep and finished the business.

Bucking Brumbies get out the gate, early

The game did not start well, however. The home side conceded an early penalty and three points to the boot of Damian McKenzie.

They proceeded to lose a lineout on their throw before James Slipper was pinged for collapsing a scrum, all in the first six minutes.

However, Banks broke out from his half. Andy Muirhead danced down the right-hand touchline where a penalty the Chiefs gave away another penalty.

Christian Lealiifano was the inspirational attacking fulcrum at stand-off; as he goes, so do the Brumbies. And boy, did they go.

His charges blew the Chiefs away with a performance not seen in the Australian Capital Territory in a generation.

The captain had a hand in Kuridrani, Banks and Peni’s five-pointers, mixing vision with awareness and skill with execution.

He opted for a lineout from which Rory Arnold thought he’d scored. The TMO ruled out the score, but it didn’t take long before Kuridrani, taking Joe Powell’s pass, powered over.

The centre’s try kick-started a golden period of play, which essentially won the game for the Brumbies.

Banks ghosted through a gap, thanks to Lealiifano’s vision, he shimmied Shaun Stevenson and sped away from Tumua Manu, four minutes’ later.

McKenzie missed a penalty in between the madness

Peni was on the scoresheet with his first try, making it 21-3 thanks to Lealiifano’s break.

The move started after some good work at the breakdown and some quick, clean ball.

Powell set the move in motion, go to his left to where Lealiifano saw a gap, sped through it and sent the ball to Peni, on his outside instead of Banks on his inside.

The Brumbies were galloping away at GIO Stadium.

The Chiefs were reeling. They were ragged. Somewhere, they produced a series of plays that led to Ataata Moeakiola’s try.

That was as good as it would get until the game was well and truly over.

In the final 10 minutes of the half, McKelle’s side showed maturity, calm and patience. They camped in the Chiefs’ 22, knowing another try would give them breathing space.

After a series of reset scrums, McCaffrey produced a moment of magic, selling Lachlan Boshier a dummy and stepping inside to dot down on the whitewash. Game over.

Forwards domination

Allan Ala’alatoa, Folau Fainga’a, Slipper proceeded to demolish the Chiefs’ front row.

Things went from bad to worse; the Waikato pack collapsed a driving maul; it was soul destroying for any forward.

It gave the Brumbies’ pack the mental edge going into the shed.

Chiefs head coach Colin Cooper must have read the riot act because his side was the better team after the break.

They could not get points on the board; instead, it was the hosts and Peni who scored next.

It was an unbelievable try, starting outside the home team’s 5m. The ball squirted out of another Brumbies wrecking ball of a scrum to Powell. The halfback popped to Lealiifano on the short side.

The flyhalf burst away to halfway before he offloaded to Muirhead. The flyer continued the attack, slipping Stevenson’s tackle before drawing Tyler Ardron.

The 25-year-old’s inside pass went to ground, but the supporting Lealiifano gathered it. He gave it to McCaffrey.

The No. 8 sent a long cut-out pass to Peni, who sped away to the delight of the home support. Crazy.

Samisoni Taukei’aho scored from close range to make it 40-17 after McKenzie’s conversion.

But it wasn’t long before Mann-Rea got in on the act. The Brumbies’ forwards were beasting the Chiefs with another driving maul masterpiece.

There was still time for Kuridrani to take Wharenui Hawera’s smart hand-off and supply the dagger.

Final Score: Brumbies 54 (33) Chiefs 17 (10)

Tries – Kuridrani (2), Banks, Peni (2), McCaffrey, Fainga’a, Mann-Rea
Pen –
Con – Lealiifano (5), Hawera (2)
Drop –
Cards –

Tries – Moeakiola, Taukei’aho
Pen – McKenzie
Con – McKenzie (2)
Drop –
Cards –

Match Officials
Referee: Angus Gardner
Assistant Ref 1: Damon Murphy
Assistant Ref 2: Graham Cooper
TMO: Ian Smith


Brumbies: 15 Tom Banks, 14 Chance Peni, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Irae Simone, 11 Andy Muirhead, 10 Christian Lealiifano (captain), 9 Joe Powell, 8 Lachlan McCaffrey, 7 Tom Cusack, 6 Rob Valetini, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Allan Ala’alatoa, 2 Folau Fainga’a, 1 James Slipper.

Replacements: 16 Josh Mann-Rea, 17 Scott Sio, 18 Leslie Leuluaialii-Makin, 19 Blake Enever, 20 Peter Samu, 21 Matt Lucas, 22 Wharenui Hawera, 23 Tom Wright.

Chiefs: 15 Shaun Stevenson, 14 Ataata Moeakiola, 13 Tumua Manu, 12 Anton Lienert-Brown, 11 Etene Nanai-Seturo, 10 Damian McKenzie, 9 Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 8 Tyler Ardron, 7 Lachlan Boshier, 6 Mitchell Brown, 5 Michael Allardice, 4 Brodie Retallick (captain), 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Nathan Harris, 1 Aidan Ross.

Replacements: 16 Samisoni Taukei’aho, 17 Tevita Mafileo, 18 Sosefo Kautai, 19 Taleni Seu, 20 Mitchell Karpik, 21 Jonathan Taumateine, 22 Orbyn Leger, 23 Bailyn Sullivan.

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