Canberra’s Brumbies stunned the Chiefs with a 14-26 Super rugby victory at FMG stadium in Hamilton giving them back to back wins over the Waikato side.
The Brumbies outscored the Chiefs by four tries to two in the match and led 19-0 at half time before letting the Chiefs come back at them in the second half.
The Brumbies stretched their lead to 26-0 early in the second half but the Chiefs fought their way back into the match.
Last year in Canberra the Brumbies beat the Chiefs 54-17 in Canberra but they will be happier with this victory as it ends a 13 match losing streak against New Zealand opposition and six years of losses in New Zealand.
The result brings an end to the Chiefs six-match unbeaten streak in the regular season and Warren Gatland’s first loss with the Chiefs.
The Brumbies had not been expected to perform in this match and were without a number of players after an outbreak of mumps in their camp but they blew away Gatland’s Chiefs in the opening half which effectively won them the match.
Two of the Australian conference leaders four tries were scored by Pete Samu while the others were scored by fullback Tom Banks and rugby league convert Solomone Kata.
The Brumbies scored two early tries in the first 15 minutes of the match. Banks brushed off a Chiefs tackle after getting the ball from James Slipper who juggled the ball but managed to get it away without knocking it forward.
The TMO had to check the try but it was confirmed that Slipper had controlled the ball legally.
The Brumbies second try was arguably their best as they forced the Chiefs defence to drift across the field which put Aaron Cruden up against Solomone Kata who ran round the former All Black and then in to score in the same corner.
Four minutes from half time Samu scored the first of his brace by running off the back of a 5m scrum and diving under the posts. Noah Lolesio added the conversion to give the Brumbies a 19-0 lead going into the break.
The Brumbies went further ahead to 26-0 after the break when Samu burst through a tackle and dodged a second as he powered his way to the tryline.
The Chiefs scored their first points seven minutes after the break when Cruden found space in the Brumbies defences in the Brumbies 22 and raced in to score after a short but powerful charge by Pita Gus Sowakula.
Damien McKenzie added the conversion and five minutes later Sowakula again burst off the back of the scrum and this time Anton Lienert-Brown scored while Brumbies prop James Slipper was in the sin-bin.
McKenzie was on target again with the conversion but that kick was the last points of the match and the Chiefs first half points deficit proved to be too much for ths hosts.
Brumbies captain Allan Alaalatoa praised his team for holding off the Chiefs second half comeback.
“We knew the Chiefs were going to come out hard in the second half but I’m really proud of the boys in how we held them out,” he said.
Chiefs centre and try scorer Anton Lienert-Brown said that last week’s New Zealand conference leaders did not expect the Brumbies to perform as they did.
“After three good wins in a row we must have thought we’d just come out here and beat them, but they’re a quality side,” said Lienert-Brown after the loss.
Next week in round 5 the Brumbies and Chiefs both have a bye.
They return in round six with the Chiefs taking on the Waratahs in Wollongong while the Brumbies travel to Osaka to play the Sunwolves.
Final Score Chiefs 14 (0) Brumbies 26 (19)
Tries – A.Cruden, A.Lienert-Brown
Con – D.McKenzie 2
Tries – T.Banks, S. Kata, P.Samu 2
Con – N.Lolesio 3
Cards – J.Slipper (yellow 52nd minute)
Referee: Brendon Pickerill
Assistant Ref 1: Mike Fraser
Assistant Ref 2: Dan Waenga
TMO: Glenn Newman
Damian McKenzie, Sean Wainui, Anton Lienert-Brown, Alex Nankivell, Sam McNicol, Aaron Cruden, Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, Pita Gus Sowakula, Sam Cane, Luke Jacobson, Mitchell Brown, Michael Allardice, Atu Moli, Bradley Slater, Aidan Ross.
Replacements: Samisoni Taukei’aho, Reuben O’Neill, Ross Geldenhuys, Naitoa Ah Kuoi, Mitchell Karpik, Lisati Milo-Harris, Kaleb Trask, Quinn Tupaea.
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 (captain), 2 Connal McInerney, 1 James Slipper
Replacements: 16 Lachlan Lonergan, 17 Scott Sio, 18 Tom Ross, 19 Nick Frost, 20 Lachlan McCaffrey, 21 Ryan Lonergan, 22 Bayley Kuenzle, 23 Toni Pulu