Bundee Aki scores for Chiefs but Brumbies prevail
New Connacht signing leads Chiefs fightback but defending champions knocked out in Canberra
Bundee Aki of the Chiefs in action against the Brumbies in Canberra. Photograph: Stefan Postles/Getty Images
The ACT Brumbies held off a Waikato Chiefs fightback to bring an end to the New Zealanders’ quest for a third straight Super Rugby title with a 32-30 victory in a breathless play-off match in Canberra.
Tries from Nic White, Robbie Coleman, Jesse Mogg and Jarrad Butler gave the hosts a measure of revenge for their defeat in last year’s final and earned them a place in next week’s semi-finals, most likely against the New South Wales Waratahs.
The Chiefs were trailing 22-3 after 29 minutes but stormed back with tries from Bundee Aki, who will join Connacht this summer, Tawera Kerr-Barlow and Tim Nanai-Williams to level the scores at 25-25 with 25 minutes of the contest remaining.
Butler scored from a rolling maul five minutes later, though, and Chiefs outhalf Aaron Cruden’s failure to convert replacement back Gareth Anscombe’s 77th minute try ultimately proved decisive.