HAMILTON – The Chiefs defeated the Brumbies 28-10 on Saturday to complete New Zealand’s Super Rugby rout over Australian sides this season.
The Chiefs scored three tries to one and lead throughout as fullback Damian McKenzie inspired them to an easy win.
The result in the final round of the regular season gives New Zealand teams a 25-0 winning record against Australian opposition, the first such clean sweep over their trans-Tasman rivals.
Australia’s horror run against Kiwi teams actually extends to 30-0 if results from last year are factored in.
Both sides had already qualified for the quarter-finals, but the Chiefs needed a win to keep alive their hopes of overtaking the Hurricanes, who face the Crusaders later on Saturday.
The team that emerges on top will play the Brumbies in Canberra next week, rather than enduring a draining trip to Cape Town to face the Stormers.
The Brumbies, guaranteed a home quarter-final next week after topping the Australian conference with just six wins, named a virtual reserve team for the Hamilton fixture.
Yet they dominated early possession against their more fancied opponents but could not convert it into points, before a McKenzie penalty put the Chiefs on the board.
McKenzie followed up with a scintillating try, swerving his way through the Brumbies defence after a perfectly timed run on to Solomona Alaimalo’s pass.
Hard-running centre Nigel Ah Wong found a gap to hit back for the Brumbies almost immediately with a converted try, as the visitors added a penalty to cut the Chiefs’ lead at halftime to 13-10.
But scrumhalf Tomas Cubelli was sin-binned shortly after the restart and the Chiefs made the most of the advantage, sending Alaimalo over in the corner.
They continued to press and Michael Leitch raced over the sideline with 10 minutes to go to put the result beyond doubt.