Chiefs tame Brumbies for SuperRugby crown

The Chiefs claimed their second Super crown in as many years with a 15-point closing burst after trailing 12-22 with 17 minutes to go. 

Before a packed crowd of 25 000 at Waikato Stadium, the Chiefs outscored the Brumbies two tries to one.

Man of the match Liam Messam and replacement fullback Robbie Robinson both crossed the line while Aaron Cruden landed one conversion and five penalties. Christian Lealiifano scored all the Brumbies points with a converted try and five penalties. Chiefs coach Dave Rennie praised his side's courage for the way they fought back when the Brumbies had command.

"It was a messy first half. They were able to get in and slow a lot of our ball and steal ball and we got sucked into trying to push too many passes. So there was real character shown in that second half. We got great impact off the bench," he said.

Brumbies coach Jake White, who in the space of two seasons has transformed the team from a spent force into title contenders, was disappointed to see victory slip away in the dying stages. "Last week we were dead and buried in the 78th minute and we ended up winning [against the Bulls] and I had a little feeling it might happen again tonight," he said.

"Obviously you have to be a bit disappointed in that. I don't want to single out players in our squad but there were a lot of mistakes that were made when the pressure was on, and that happens in finals." 

Through a quirk of the draw the Chiefs did not play the Brumbies in the regular season and were caught off guard early by the marauding Brumbies pack, led by captain and backrower Ben Mowen, which kept scrumhalf Tawera Kerr-Barlow under pressure.

As the Brumbies worked their way through the Jake White coaching handbook they kicked for position, put pressure on a scrambling Chiefs to draw penalties, and inside-centre Lealiifano had them 9-0 ahead inside the first quarter.

The Chiefs, favouring an expansive running game, managed to draw level through three quick penalties by Aaron Cruden before Lealiifano produced the first try of the match.

When the Brumbies flat-line defence forced the Chiefs to rush their clearance from a ruck, Lealiifano snapped up a looped pass to run 42 metres to score in the corner and he then converted his own try.


A further Lealiifano penalty extended their lead to 19-9 immediately after half-time, and a further exchange of three-pointers with Cruden had the visitors up 22-12 before the Chiefs found top gear.

As the Brumbies began to tire after travelling to South Africa and then New Zealand in the play-offs, Liam Messam scored the Chiefs' opening try by charging around the side of a five-metre scrum.

Then replacement fullback Robinson joined on the end of Asaeli Tikoirotuma for the second try, which Cruden converted and added a further penalty. In the space of seven minutes the Chiefs produced a winning 15-point burst to become only the fourth side to win back to back Super titles. – AFP

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Advertising

Safety at schools: ‘Keep your distance and your pen’

The department of basic education has developed guidelines to assist schools with minimising the spread of the coronavirus

‘Soon he’ll be seen as threatening, not cute’: What it’s...

There is no separating George Floyd’s killing from the struggles black people have faced ever since the first slave ships landed on these shores

How schools could work during Covid

Ahead of their opening, the basic education department has given schools three models to consider to ensure physical distancing
Advertising

Press Releases

Mining company uses rich seam of technology to gear up for Covid-19

Itec Direct technology provides instant temperature screening of staff returniing to the workplace with no human contact

Covid-19 and Back to School Webinar

If our educators can take care of themselves, they can take care of the children they teach

5G technology is the future

Besides a healthcare problem Covid-19 is also a data issue and 5G technology, with its lightning speed, can help to curb its spread

JTI off to court for tobacco ban: Government not listening to industry or consumers

The tobacco ban places 109 000 jobs and 179 000 wholesalers and retailers at risk — including the livelihood of emerging farmers

Holistic Financial Planning for Professionals Webinar

Our lives are constantly in flux, so it makes sense that your financial planning must be reviewed frequently — preferably on an annual basis

Undeterred by Covid-19 pandemic, China and Africa hold hands, building a community of a shared future for mankind

It is clear that building a community with a shared future for all mankind has become a more pressing task than ever before

Wills, Estate Administration and Succession Planning Webinar

Capital Legacy has had no slowdown in lockdown regarding turnaround with clients, in storing or retrieving wills and in answering their questions

Call for Expression of Interest: Training supply and needs assessment to support the energy transition in South Africa

GIZ invites eligible and professional companies with local presence in South Africa to participate in this tender to support the energy transition

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday