Hefty blow for Brumbies, Chiefs run riot in red zone

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT -

JEROME KAINO and Matt Duffie scored two tries each for the Blues as they com­pro­mised the Su­per Rugby play­off chances of the Brumbies with a 40-15 rout of the Aus­tralian con­fer­ence lead­ers in Auck­land yes­ter­day.

The Blues are al­ready out of play­off con­tention but dealt a hefty blow to the post-sea­son hopes of the Brumbies, who are tied on 39 points with Aus­tralian ri­vals the Waratahs.

The home side’s good start – con­verted tries from Kaino and captain James Par­sons in­side the first seven min­utes – was un­done al­most im­me­di­ately when Kaino was shown a yel­low card for de­lib­er­ately col­laps­ing a rolling maul.

Ref­eree Ben O’Keeffe also awarded a penalty try for the in­fringe­ment, but the Blues con­tin­ued to chance their arm and ex­ploit space while a man down and scored two more unan­swered tries through prop Sam Prat­t­ley and Matt Duffie.

The Brumbies, whose at­tack­ing game is based on build­ing phases, slowed the game down to starve the Blues of ball in the se­cond quar­ter of the game and O’Keeffe is­sued a suc­ces­sion of penal­ties.

Matt Toomua grabbed their se­cond try fol­low­ing an­other rolling maul from an at­tack­ing li­ne­out be­fore Chris­tian Leali­ifano added a penalty to his ear­lier con­ver­sion to nar­row the gap to 28-15 at the break.

Kaino grabbed his se­cond shortly af­ter half­time as the Blues man­aged to hold onto the ball, but nei­ther side was able to move the score­board for the next 30 min­utes.

Matt Vaega then had a try dis­al­lowed upon re­view by the TMO when Duffie was found to have placed a foot in touch be­fore his pass back in field.

Duffie, how­ever, made up with it with his se­cond with eight min­utes left as the hosts ham­mered home their ad­van­tage and got just re­wards for their at­tack­ing in­tent.

Seta Ta­mani­valu and Damian McKen­zie scored two tries each as the Chiefs kept up their chase for the top spot in Su­per Rugby with a 50-5 demolition of the Reds at Lang Park in Bris­bane.

The Chiefs, who top the Aus­tralasian group, moved to 51 com­pe­ti­tion points with the vic­tory. It also gave them a six-point lead over the Cru­saders (45), who face the Rebels in Christchurch to­day.

The Reds were re­duced to 13 men for the fi­nal 10 min­utes of the first half with Nick Frisby given a yel­low card for kick­ing the ball out of Lach­lan Boshier’s hands while the Chiefs’ flank was reach­ing for the line.

Ref­eree Nick Bri­ant also awarded the vis­i­tors a penalty try. Bri­ant then is­sued an­other yel­low card to Jack Tut­tle less than a minute later when the Reds full­back was pe­nalised for a dan­ger­ous charge in the air on Taw­era Kerr-Bar­low.

Sam Cane and Ta­mani­valu, who had opened the scor­ing in the se­cond minute of the game, ex­tended the Chiefs’ lead to 33-5 with the two-man ad­van­tage.

Atu Moli had also scored an ear­lier try fol­low­ing a sweep­ing move­ment, with McKen­zie slot­ting four conversions as the vis­i­tors ran riot with nu­mer­ous line-breaks and their abil­ity to put run­ners into space and pass out of tack­les.

The match de­te­ri­o­rated in a sloppy se­cond half be­fore McKen­zie fin­ished off a nice break from An­ton Lienert-Brown in the 55th minute.

Nathan Har­ris then scored off an 80me­tre counter-at­tack that was sparked by a Reds’ turnover about 12 min­utes later.

McKen­zie com­pleted the rout with his se­cond fol­low­ing a sim­ple play from an at­tack­ing scrum as the Chiefs backs ran su­perb lines from depth that put play­ers out­side them into space. – Reuters

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