Weber stars as Chiefs down Brumbies
SUPER RUGBY PRE-SEASON REPORT: Chiefs' scrumhalf Brad Weber scored a hat-trick of tries during his side's hard-fought 38-26 win over the Brumbies at the Sunshine Coast Stadium in Kawana.
The Brumbies started well and were ahead within five minutes after an excellent piece of opportunism from scrumhalf Joe Powell. Powell sniped on a Chiefs error from a scrum that was backpedalling to pick up and scoot over for the score which Christian Lealiifano converted.
That seemed to fire up the Chiefs and they hit back with an incredible display of pace and offloading to which their scrumhalf, Brad Weber, was the key beneficiary. The writing was on the wall after Kyle Godwin brought down Solomon Alaimalo close to the line and Henry Speight denied Brodie Retallick in similar fashion.
Not to be denied the Chiefs found a way over shortly after when Weber supported a fine break by Alaimalo to cross with Damien McKenzie proving dead-eye from the tee to land the conversion.
Weber was over again in the nineteenth minute taking advantage of a gap in the defensive line to canter over. He was followed by Luke Jacobson before Weber claimed a first-half hat-trick with Taleni Seu flick-passing into the supporting runner for another outstanding try. McKenzie popped over another conversion as the Chiefs led 26-7 at the interval.
It was a better defensive showing in the opening part of the second stanza with the Brumbies tackling well and improving on the missed tackle count in the first half.
The Brumbies made several changes ten minutes into the half bringing on Richie Arnold, Blake Enever, Robbie Abel and Wharenui Hawera for the industrious Rory Arnold, Sam Carter, Josh Mann-Rea and Christian Lealiifano respectively but it was the Chiefs who crossed next via Liam Messam.
Trailing 33-7 the Brumbies brought on the cavalry and manage to get a sustained et of pressure on the Chiefs line which culminated in replacement scrumhalf Matt Lucas finding Andy Muirhead who forced his way from close range with Wharenui Hawera.
Finishing strongly the Brumbies reduced the arrears with ten minutes to play when No.8 Isi Naisarani, who played the full eighty minutes, showed remarkable pace to pick up a loose ball and accelerate away from the covering Chiefs defenders on a sixty-metre run to go under the posts. Hawera added the extras.
And the points kept coming for the Brumbies with Kyle Godwin showing his pace to sprint away from the defence after another excellent move to reduce the score to 33-26 with four minutes to play.
The Chiefs ended with a score through wing Johnny Fa’auli who latched onto a Crossfield kick to score in the corner although he appeared to put a hand in touch before grounding the ball.
Tries: Powell, Muirhead, Naisarani, Godwin
Cons: Lealiifano, Hawera 2
Tries: Weber 3, Jacobsen, Messam, Fa’auli
Cons: D. McKenzie 3, M. McKenzie
Brumbies: 15 Tom Banks, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Kyle Godwin, 11 Chance Peni, 10 Christian Leallifano (captain), 9 Joe Powell, 8 Isi Naisarani, 7 Lachlan McCaffrey, 6 Rob Valetini, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Josh Mann-rea, 1 Scott Sio.
Replacement: 16 Robbie Abel, 17 Ben Alexander, 18 Leslie Leulua'Iali'I-makin, 19 Blake Enever, 20 Richie Arnold, 21 Tom Cusack, 22 Lolo Fakaosilea, 23 Matt Lucas, 23 Wharenui Hawera, 24 Lausii Taliauli, 25 Andrew Smith, 26 James Dargaville, 27 Andrew Muirhead.