There was certainly no aftermath of a mumps outbreak as Brumbies produced an outstanding 26-14 win over Chiefs in Hamilton.
The Brumbies’ win snapped their six-year losing streak on New Zealand soil.
The result brings an end to the Chiefs unbeaten run in the season and also hands Warren Gatland his first loss as Chiefs head coach.
The Brumbies were in fine form as they cruised to a 19-0 lead and kept the Chiefs scoreless for 47 minutes of the match.
The Australians scored four tries through fullback Tom Banks, wing Solomone Kata and a brace by No.8 Pete Samu. The 20-year-old flyhalf Noah Lolesio added three conversions.
The Chiefs managed to reply with two tries by flyhalf Aaron Cruden and centre Anton Lienert-Brown, while fullback Damian McKenzie was on target with both conversions.
The Brumbies got off to a flying start. The Australians were clinical on the attack and after just 10 minutes had a 7-0 lead courtesy of a Tom Banks try and a Noah Lolesio conversion.
Minutes later they found themselves inside the Chiefs’ half again. A successful line-out along with great interplay from the backs made sure Solomone Kata barged over the line in the corner for the 12-0 lead.
The two quick scored left Chiefs dumbstruck, and just before the break, the Brumbies extended their lead. A well-worked scrum set a perfect platform for Pete Samu to dived under the posts.
Lolesio added the easy extras for the 19-0 advantage.
The visitors continued their onslaught in the second stanza. Lolesio and Banks instigating much of the play along with Chiefs’ feeble defence, made sure Samu strolled over for his second try.
After 47 minutes Chiefs finally enjoyed some possession inside the Brumbies’ half, and eventually, after a rare good scrum flyhalf Aaron Cruden went over the chalk to break the duck. Damian McKenzie added the conversion.
The Chiefs were again at it, this time centre Anton Lienert-Brown crashed over the line, while Brumbies prop James Slipper was sin-binned.
With just minutes left of the clock, Warren Gatland’s men were desperate to keep their unbeaten run intact, however, however, decision-making and handling halted all their efforts.
The defeat means that they remained second in the New Zealand Conference and fourth in the overall log.
While the Brumbies extend their lead atop the Australian Conference and remained in third place in the overall standings.
Both teams will enjoy a bye before they return in round six with the Chiefs taking on the Waratahs in Wollongong while the Brumbies travel to Osaka to play the Sunwolves.
Man of the match: There were loads of standout performers for teh Brumbies, Allan Alaalatoa, Pete Samu and Tom Banks all deserve a mention for their performances. However our nod goes to Noah Lolesio, the 20-year-old showed great maturity as he instigated the Brumbies attack.
Tries: Cruden, Lienert-Brown
Cons: McKenzie 2
Tries: Banks, Samu 2, Kata
Cons: Lolesio 3
Yellow card: James Slipper (Brumbies, 52 – professional foul)
Damian McKenzie, 14 Sean Wainui, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Alex
Nankivell, 11 Sam McNicol, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 8
Pita Gus Sowakula, 7 Sam Cane (captain), 6 Luke Jacobson, 5 Mitchell
Brown, 4 Michael Allardice, 3 Atu Moli, 2 Bradley Slater, 1 Aidan Ross.
Replacements: 16 Samisoni Taukei’aho, 17 Reuben O’Neill, 18 Ross Geldenhuys, 19 Naitoa Ah Kuoi, 20 Mitchell Karpik, 21 Lisati Milo-Harris, 22 Kaleb Trask, 23 Quinn Tupaea.
Brumbies: 15 Tom Banks, 14 Solomone
Kata, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Irae Simone, 11 Andy Muirhead, 10 Noah
Lolesio, 9 Joe Powell, 8 Pete Samu, 7 Will Miller, 6 Rob Valetini, 5
Murray Douglas, 4 Cadeyrn Neville, 3 Allan Alaalatoa (captain), 2 Connal
McInerney, 1 James Slipper.
Replacements: 16 Lachlan Lonergan, 17 Scott Sio, 18 Tom Ross, 19 Nick Frost, 20 Lachlan McCaffrey, 21 Ryan Lonergan, 22 Bayley Kuenzle, 23 Toni Pulu.
Referee: Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Mike Fraser (New Zealand), Dan Waenga (New Zealand)
TMO: Glenn Newman (New Zealand)