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Brumbies thrashed by Chiefs 48-23 in Super Rugby trans-Tasman encounter

2 April 2016 10:31 AM
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Winger James Lowe has touched down either side of half-time as the Chiefs made light of Australia's strongest Super Rugby challengers by running in six tries for a 48-23 bonus point victory over the Brumbies in Canberra.

Back rower Tom Sanders and winger Toni Pulu also scored tries in the first half, with half-back Brad Weber and Damian McKenzie crossing after the break to send the Chiefs top of the Australasian Group with five wins from six matches.

Full-back McKenzie, whose last-minute try was his seventh of the season, also chipped in with three conversions and four penalties as the 2012 and 2013 champions served notice that two years without the title might be long enough.

The Brumbies scored tries from prop Scott Sio and flanker Scott Fardy as well as 13 points from the boot of Christian Lealiifano but their much vaunted defence looked almost powerless to resist the rampant Chiefs attack.

The swiftness of the Chiefs counter-attack was evident in the 15th minute when turnover ball was turned into a try after moving through just three pairs of hands, Los Angeles-born Pulu showing good pace to touch down in the corner.

Lowe's first try 14 minutes later came from a longer build-up, which the winger set alight with a sprint down the touchline before finding Aaron Cruden on his inside and taking the return pass from the fly half to score.

A rare defensive error gave the Brumbies the field position for Sio to crash over four minutes before the break but another attack involving the flying Lowe put Sanders over for the Chiefs' third try and a 20-13 lead at the break.

McKenzie kept the scoreboard ticking over from the kicking tee and although Fardy's try reduced the deficit to 26-20 in the 54th minute, that was as good as it got for the Brumbies.

Lowe's second try, his fifth of the season, came from an inch-perfect Cruden cross-kick and the winger's own chip and regather helped set Weber free to score two minutes later.

Earlier, fly half Ihaia West survived a crunching Tomas Lavanini tackle and scored 19 points as the Blues came through an early test of their defence to hand Argentina's Jaguares a 24-16 defeat in their first match in New Zealand.

Source: abc.net.au

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