New Plymouth - The Chiefs snatched a 19-17 win over the Brumbies with the last kick of the match in New Plymouth on Friday.
Black Aaron Cruden's 80th-minute penalty ultimately proved the
difference in a tight contest where both sides scored one try apiece and
the lead changed five times.
The Brumbies were missing injured skipper David Pocock for the fixture, a rematch of the 2013 Super Rugby final won by the Chiefs.
replacement Nic White was frustrated at losing a match that his team
dominated for long periods, particularly at set pieces.
to learn to close out these games, I think maybe we thought we had it
closed out too early but the Chiefs were here to play and that's what
got them over the line," he said.
"I'm really proud of the effort but being proud doesn't get you four points."
the Chiefs, Sonny Bill Williams and fellow All Black Sam Cane were late
withdrawals after initially being named in the starting 15.
hosts showed no signs of missing Williams though when his replacement
Charlie Ngatai beat two defenders to score the opening try after Hosea
Gear released him with a classy offload.
The Brumbies took only three minutes to respond, with number eight Ita Vaea pushing his way over for a try from a driving maul.
Cruden penalty gave the Chiefs a 13-11 lead at the break but they could
count themselves fortunate after conceding nine penalties in the first
The Brumbies took the lead after the restart when they opted to kick two penalties rather than run the ball.
Cruden closed the gap to one point through another penalty with 12 minutes to go and the Chiefs piled on the pressure.
The Brumbies knocked on from a line out, then conceded a penalty from the resulting scrum.
With the siren about to sound, Cruden calmly slotted home the kick to seal the win.
Try: Charlie Ngatai
Conversion: Aaron Cruden
Penalties: Cruden (4)
Try: Ita Vaea
Penalties: Christian Lealiifano (4)
15 James Lowe, 14 Bryce Heem, 13 Seta Tamanivalu, 12 Charlie Ngatai, 11 Hosea Gear, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Brad Weber, 8 Maama Vaipulu, 7 Tevita Koloamatangi, 6 Liam Messam (captain), 5 Michael Fitzgerald, 4 Matt Symons, 3 Siate Tokolahi, 2 Hika Elliot, 1 Jamie Mackintosh.
Substitutes: 16 Quentin MacDonald, 17 Pauliasi Manu, 18 Ben Tameifuna, 19 Brodie Retallick, 20 Sean Polwart, 21 Augustine Pulu, 22 Damian McKenzie, 23 Anton Lienert-Brown
15 Robbie Coleman, 14 Joe Tomane, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Christian Leali'ifano, 11 Henry Speight, 10 Matt Toomua, 9 Nic White (captain), 8 Ita Vaea, 7 Jarrad Butler, 6 Scott Fardy, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Josh Mann-Rea, 1 Scott Sio
Substitutes: 16 Stephen Moore, 17 JP Smith, 18 Ruan Smith, 19 Jordan Smiler, 20 Sean Doyle, 21 Michael Dowsett, 22 James Dargaville, 23 Lausii Taliauli