Brumbies hammer Chiefs
The Brumbies swept the Chiefs aside at Canberra Stadium on Friday, winning 42-23 in a rematch of last year's Super Rugby final.
Matt Toomua and Tevita Kuridrani both touched down twice in the second half as the Australian Conference leaders outscored their Kiwi counterparts five tries to two to secure a bonus point, although it must be noted that both Chiefs tries came in the dying minutes when the result had long been settled.
The Brumbies led 13-6 at the interval thanks to a try from Toomua and a couple of penalties from Christian Lealiifano.
The hosts put in an outstanding defensive effort to keep the Chiefs out despite the visitors enjoying the lion's share of both possession and territory.
It was a very different story after the break however with the floodgates opening. Joe Tomane added his name to the scoresheet as the Brumbies punished the defending champions for cheaply turning over possession and failing to make their tackles.
While the hosts may count themselves somewhat fortunate for being awarded their first two tries - as there was a hint of a forward pass involved in both - the Chiefs can only blame themselves for the next three.
The Chiefs are clearly missing Aaron Cruden as the their attack has lacked spark with Gareth Anscombe directing traffic.
But it was on defence on at the contact zone were Dave Rennie's side let themselves down, with 17 turnovers conceded and 10 tackles missed. No one can win a title with those numbers.
It was anyone's game at half time but some poor defence allowed Tomane to dive into the corner early in the second stanza.
Two quick-fire tries from Kuridrani around the hour mark put the game to bed as the reply from the Chiefs bench came too late.
Toomua scored his second from long range to rub salt into the wounds as the Brumbies won their fourth consecutive home game for the first time since 2010.
Tries: Toomua 2, Tomane, Kuridrani 2
Cons: Leali'ifano White
Pens: Leali'ifano 2, White 2
Tries: Weber, Hohneck
Cons: Horrell 2
Pens: Anscombe 3
Yellow card: Lowe
Brumbies: 15 Jesse Mogg, 14 Joe Tomane, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Christian Lealiifano, 11 Robbie Coleman, 10 Matt Toomua, 9 Nic White, 8Ben Mowen (c), 7 Jarrad Butler, 6 Jordan Smiler, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Scott Fardy, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Scott Sio.
Replacements: 16 Siliva Siliva, 17 Ruan Smith, 18 JP Smith, 19 Jack Whetton, 20 Tom McVerry, 21 Michael Dowsett, 22 Andrew Smith, 23 Pat McCabe.
Chiefs: 15 Tom Marshall, 14 Tim Nanai-Williams, 13 Andrew Horrell, 12 Bundee Aki, 11 Asaeli Tikoirotuma, 10 Gareth Anscombe, 9 Augustine Pulu, 8 Liam Messam (c), 7 Sam Cane, 6 Nick Crosswell, 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Ross Filipo, 3 Ben Tameifuna, 2 Mahonri Schwalger, 1 Pauliasi Manu
Replacements: 16 Nathan Harris, 17 Jamie Mackintosh, 18 Josh Hohneck, 19 Matt Symons, 20 Tevita Koloamatangi, 21 Brad Weber, 22 Dwayne Sweeney, 23 James Lowe.
Venue: Canberra Stadium
Referee: Steve Walsh (Australia)
Assistant Referees: Rohan Hoffmann (Australia), Andrew Lees (Australia)
TMO: George Ayoub (Australia)