PREVIEW: Brumbies v Chiefs

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Thursday, February 21, 2019    Getty Images

Match details: Brumbies v Chiefs, GIO Stadium, Canberra, 9.45pm (NZT) Saturday 23 February

Played: 25
Won: Brumbies 13, Chiefs 11
Drawn: 1
Last time: Chiefs 24, Brumbies 19 (7 July 2018)
Referee: Angus Gardner

Both the Brumbies and Chiefs crossed for four tries each in losing efforts against the Rebels and Highlanders respectively last week. While their attack was on song, it was the Brumbies defence that let them down while the Chiefs discipline cost them at crucial times. When looking at the historical form between these two sides, the Chiefs have the better of recent history with four wins from the last four encounters between the sides.

The big headlines out of the Chiefs camp are the return of star playmaker Damian McKenzie to the side and the naming of world class lock Brodie Retallick to play his 100th match. Retallick is seen as a talismanic figure by the Chiefs and the whole side will surely lift to acknowledge his milestone. Although Orbyn Leger did a fine job at pivot last week, the Chiefs will be happy to have the game-breaking ability of Damian McKenzie back in the ten jersey.
A two-time Super Rugby winner with the Crusaders, Pete Samu was a stand out in his first game for the Brumbies last week with four clean breaks – more than any player in the competition. He has been named on the bench for this clash with former Australian sevens star Thomas Cusack picked at openside flanker. Expect Samu to make a big impact when he gets on the field and ensure that the Brumbies stay in the contest for the full 80 minutes.

The Brumbies will need to keep a close watch on the Chiefs rookie wing pairing of Etene Nanai-Seturo and Bailyn Sullivan. The youngsters stood out in the opening round with sevens sensation Nanai-Seturo crossing for a double on debut while former NZ Under 20s star Bailyn Sullivan was a constant threat with ball in hand. This week Sullivan moves to the bench with Tongan-born Japanese star Ataata Moeakiola set to make his Chiefs debut in the fourteen jersey.
The Brumbies have won just two of their last six home games but did defeat the Hurricanes on home soil in June last year.


This match is set to give a good gauge where the New Zealand and Australian conferences stand. If the Brumbies can notch up a win at home, it will show the gap between the two conferences has closed significantly.

Thomas Banks, Chance Peni, Tevita Kuridrani, Irae Simone, Andy Muirhead, Christian Lealiifano, Joe Powell, Lachlan McCaffrey, Thomas Cusack, Rob Valetini, Sam Carter, Rory Arnold, Allan Alaalatoa, Folau Fainga'a, James Slipper
Reserves: Josh Mann-Rea, Scott Sio, Les Makin, Blake Enever, Peter Samu, Matt Lucas, Wharenui Hawera, Tom Wright

Chiefs: Shaun Stevenson, Ataata Moeakiola, Tumua Manu, Anton Lienert-Brown, Etene Nanai-Seturo, Damian McKenzie, Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, Tyler Ardron, Lachlan Boshier, Mitchell Brown, Michael Allardice, Brodie Retallick (c), Nepo Laulala, Nathan Harris, Aidan Ross. Reserves: Samisoni Taukei'aho, Tevita Mafileo, Sefo Kautai, Taleni Seu, Mitchell Karpik, Jonathan Taumateine, Orbyn Leger, Bailyn Sullivan