Vodacom Super Rugby
Chiefs break Brumbies' hearts
Aaron Cruden (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - New Zealand's Chiefs scraped
past Australia's Brumbies 29-22 with a last-gasp try to secure
their third win in a row in the Super Rugby competition on Friday.
Chiefs, riding high after a win over the Crusaders last week,
were heavy favourites going into the match against a team that finished
13th last year, but found themselves in a dogfight against the Canberra
The match only sparked to life in the final 15 minutes, and
the Chiefs scored two tries to one in what was a frantic but
"We were going backward a bit of the time but showed a fair bit of character," Chiefs captain Craig Clarke said.
"They were in up our faces and we were struggling to get go-forward and their defence was good, so it was fairly testing."
Chiefs showed a willingness to throw the ball around early, almost
going ahead after a break from Sonny Bill Williams but Rugby World Cup-winning
coach Jake White's Brumbies kept them out with committed defence.
teams traded two penalties apiece in a high-tempo opening 20 minutes,
the Brumbies matching their opponents' attacking intent but letting
themselves down with handling errors.
Flyhalf Aaron Cruden put
the Chiefs ahead with another penalty before Scott Fardy came close to a
try for the Brumbies in the 28th minute, only to knock on as he
stretched to ground the ball after a desperate tackle from Tim
The Brumbies did not allow the Chiefs' forward pack,
which laid the foundations for wins over the Crusaders and Auckland
Blues, to dominate, forcing the New Zealanders to fruitlessly search for
space out wide.
Christian Lealiifano kicked home penalties either
side of half-time to give the Brumbies a narrow lead but the
arm-wrestle continued when Cruden slotted his fourth to make it 12-12.
match looked like it was going to be settled by penalties as Cruden and
Lealiifano again exchanged three-pointers before Chiefs prop Sona
Taumalolo finally crossed the line for the Chiefs's first try after 68
It came after Liam Messam was held up in the in-goal
area, resulting in a five-metre scrum that allowed the Chiefs' forwards
to turn the screws on the Brumbies defence and allow Taumalolo to
bulldoze his way in for the score.
The Brumbies hit back in the
75th minute when Sam Carter touched down out wide, setting up a
blockbuster finale with scores again deadlocked at 22-all.
Willison provided the match-winning try in the 79th minute, scrambling
over in the corner, with Cruden's conversion making it 29-22.
15. Robbie Robinson, 14. Richard Kahui, 13. Jackson Willison, 12. Sonny Bill Williams, 11. Tim Nanai-Williams, 10. Aaron Cruden, 9. Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 8. Liam Messam, 7. Sam Cane, 6. Tanerau Latimer, 5. Brodie Retallick, 4. Craig Clarke (captain), 3. Ben Tameifuna, 2. Mahonri Schwalger, 1. Sona Taumalolo
Substitutes: 16. Marcel Cummings-Toone, 17. Josh Hohneck, 18. Kane Thompson, 19. Scott Waldrom, 20. Augustine Pulu, 21. Martino Nemani / Andrew HorrellBrumbies:
15 Jesse Mogg, 14 Pat McCabe, 13 Andrew Smith, 12 Joe Tomane, 11 Henry Speight, 10 Christian Lealiifano, 9 Ian Prior, 8 Ben Mowen, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Scott Fardy, 5 Peter Kimlin, 4 Leon Power, 3 Dan Palmer, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Ben Alexander
Substitutes: 16 Anthony Hegarty, 17 Ruaidhri Murphy, 18 Sam Carter, 19 Ita Vaea, 20 Nic White, 21 Zack Holmes, 22 Cam Crawford