What can we take out of the Brumbies' loss to the Chiefs?
1. Brumbies chasing tail
It’s far from crisis time at Brumbies HQ on the field, but it’s hard to ignore where their two losses have come in 2016. The Canberra side has gone down to the leaders in Africa and New Zealand, leaving them ground to make up in the championship stakes. The Stormers’ kicking and territory took the Brumbies’ advantage away and Saturday night it was the Chiefs’ clinical attack the twisted the knife. They will not be happy with another near miss this year but they have some ground to make up on their international counterparts.
2. Counter attack
The Brumbies might be one of the best defensive teams in the competition but they didn’t look it on Saturday night. The ACT franchise allowed the Kiwis to score some skilful but potentially preventable tries as they slipped through the Brumbies defence. The Chiefs made 605 metres to the Brumbies’ 480 and made each one count. With such pride in their impenetrability, that will surely be the Brumbies’ first discussion point in their bye week.
3. No junk time allowed
With a nine-point lead at the 60-minute mark, it didn’t seem like the Chiefs could stick the boot in during the final 20 minutes as they have against lesser sides. Think again, my friends - they managed to double their try tally and turn a nine-point advantage into 25 in that final quarter, with fullback Damian McKenzie icing the mesmerising cake in the 80th minute.
4. Pocock mere mortal? Nope
It was a tough night for the Brumbies but no blame could go on to their number seven. David Pocock had won five turnovers by half-time in Canberra and had six overall, as well as nine tackles. This record is so broken it’s hard to believe you can even play it anymore - Pocock is a beast. An absolute beast.
5. What McKan’t Damian do?
Damian McKenzie leads the Super Rugby points tally by 31 points, over the Brumbies’ Christian Lealiifano. He added 23 in Canberra on Saturday, including a try, as well as making 65 metres and beating seven defenders. At just 20, McKenzie is lighting up the Super Rugby competition and proving the barometer for his side. He’s clearly enjoying his footy too - just watch him every time he lines up for a kick.