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Brumbies crushed by Chiefs in Super Round showdown

3 minute read

After opening the season with a win, the ACT Brumbies have crashed to a 46-12 Super Round loss to New Zealand heavyweights the Chiefs.

The Chiefs have given the ACT Brumbies a harsh reality check with a thumping 46-12 victory in rugby's Super Round in Melbourne.

Widely-rated Australia's best hope, the Brumbies were outplayed across the ground by the Chiefs, who scored six tries in a statement win at AAMI Park on Sunday.

After losing last year's final to the Crusaders despite dropping just one game through the season, the Chiefs look intent on making amends, having made an unbeaten start to the year.

The performance left Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham bitterly disappointed after his team reached the semi-finals last year, where they fell to the Chiefs.

"We certainly felt that the physical battle went against us," Larkham said,

"They were winning the collisions when they carried the ball and we didn't get enough pressure at the breakdown to slow it down, and then they were side to side and playing on top of us and we were chasing our tails a fair bit.

"From an attack perspective we struggled to maintain the ball for more than three phases as well, so everything went wrong in the first half for us.

"There were better passages in the second half but it was pretty much the same story."

Electric winger Corey Toole crossed twice for the Brumbies to continue his red-hot start to the season.

His first try in the 11th minute was particularly impressive, with Toole chipping ahead and weaving through heavy traffic as he regathered to touch down.

But it was an otherwise one-sided affair in the first half, with the New Zealand side surging ahead for a 25-7 lead with the spoils shared between halfback Xavier Roe, winger Etene Nanai-Seturo and Damien McKenzie.

All Blacks playmaker McKenzie caused constant headaches for the Brumbies while the Canberra men were out-muscled at the breakdown and the set-piece.

The second half delivered much of the same despite Larkham ringing the changes as he emptied his bench.

Toole showed his speed and acceleration to score in the corner but it was quickly answered by replacement Chiefs halfback Cortez Ratima, who crossed twice in six minutes.

In the only sour note for the Chiefs, Jared Proffit was given a red card late in the match for an ugly head clash which left Brumbies lock Caderyn Neville with a badly-cut lip.

The Brumbies next host the Western Force, who are winless through two rounds.

"The most important thing now is to flush this pretty quickly, to get on to a couple of fixes that we can put into the program this week and then look forward to playing at home for the first time this year," Larkham said.

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