Chiefs v Brumbies Or The Damien McKenzie Show ? - Green and Gold Rugby
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Chiefs v Brumbies Or The Damien McKenzie Show ?

Chiefs v Brumbies Or The Damien McKenzie Show ?

With the Rebels loss last night the Brumbies suddenly might have something to play for. The Chiefs have stumbled on occasion this year but the Brumbies can’t just hope this is one of those games, they need to take their chances and not wait for a stumble. 

The Match

First Half

The Brumbies started poorly. They spent the first quarter of the match grimly holding on and turning any possession back over to the Chiefs so that they could run it back at them. Still, at 3-0 they were still well in the game on the scoreboard if not on the field.

All that changed in minutes as the Chiefs ran in two smashing tries in ten minutes to stretch the lead out to 17-0. Damien McKenzie the stand out in general play and especially the second try. After making the initial break off yet another Brumbies turnover, he got back up for a brilliant second effort to score to the left of the posts. With the halftime siren sounding he is the standout leader in the race for the coveted GAGR MOTM award.

The Other Half

The Brumbies played with more intent in the second half scoring a well-deserved try to Henry Speight and were hard on attack, looking for their second when Damien McKenzie (yeah that guy again!) intercepted the try scoring pass and sprinted off down the field. Only the chase from Tom Banks, one of the few players who could match him for pace, stopped a certain try. But it only slowed the inevitably and the Chiefs scored a couple of phases later.

Jesse Parete got binned for taking out Lucas high and late and the game changed. Firstly, Tom Banks and then Henry Speight scored converted tries while he was off the field and with five minutes to go the Brumbies trailed 24-19 and had all the momentum. But it wasn’t to be. The Brumbies gave the Chiefs a shot at goal then they ran out of time. The final score was 24-19

The Game Changer

Damien McKenzie’s intercept was enough to tip the game in the Chiefs favour. If that pass had gone to hand the Brumbies score five points instead the Chiefs got seven. that was enough to change the result.


Damien McKenzie. No one else was close.

Wallaby watch

Tevita Kuridrani put his hand up for Samu Kerevi’s 13 jersey. Joe Powell looked slow and the Brumbies went better when Lucas came on. But that often happens with reserve halfbacks.

The Details


Score & Scorers

Chiefs: 24
Tries: Nathan Harris, Damien McKenzie, Johnny Fa’auli
Conversions: Damien McKenzie 3
Penalties: Damien McKenzie
Brumbies: 19
Tries: Henry Speight, Tom Banks
Conversions: Wharenui Hawera 2

Cards & citings

Jesse Parete (Cheese)

  • Bobas

    Still not sure how a Try or Foul play can reset the yellow card warning for repeated infringements. Then there’s the idiocy not to check the penultimate play with a replay that would have been faster than packing the scrum.
    It’s just not good enough.

    • Thomas Murray

      The Brumbies were knocking the ball on and getting away with it,But you want the last one checked?Rasta was out of his league

      • Pedro

        Yeah, check the last one for cynical play. The kind the chiefs avoided getting yellowed for.

    • I’m really not sure how it does either, but it seems to do it for a lot of referees. Sometimes I think the thinking is “the warning is about continuous pressure, but that’s been released by the try” which might make some sense on some occasions although it doesn’t for foul play.

    • first time long time

      Agreed, same as last week Reds v Blues.
      He gave the Chiefs a warning then they gave away a penalty immediately and Speight score under advantage…. should still be a YC. A couple of refs have called it that way this year but again it’s the hopeless inconsistency that frustrates the most.

  • Pedro

    Thanks for the write up Sully. It’s a pity the brumbies weren’t playing like that all season (or match).

    Pretty rough to lose on a ref error but I guess that’s why you don’t leave it so late to challenge the opposition.

    • Nutta

      I think it was Wayne Bennett who i once heard say ‘If it comes down to a bounce, a knock on or a disputed penalty, then you may have scored more points, but it’s not really a victory.’

      • Pedro

        While Wayne Bennett has had a closer relationship with professional rugby than I have, for a lot longer, I don’t think he’s as experienced in losing. An Australian rugby fan in 2018 will claim anything as a victory, especially if we score more points.

  • Bobas

    According to kiwis Gregan got away with a no-arm tackle on Jeff Wilson

  • Bakkies

    Powell came up with some costly errors. The replays were very slow to come up on Sky NZ when Chiefs players infringed or could be investigated.

    Super Rugby backrows are passive towards McKenzie he got absolutely monstered by the Lions playing for the Maori and Chiefs by putting pressure on him and not ball watch. He starts making errors constantly when he gets hammered.

    • John R

      Agreed Bakkies, and he tends to get a case of the Kurtley’s and starts to run sideways when the pressure is on.

  • Dean

    joe powell seems to be continuing his form from the wallabies… Very costly errors in key moments when on attack. cheika’s had him in camp for a while now.. still no improvement. He’s very phipps esk in the mistakes he’s doing

    • Missing Link

      Cheika plucked Powell into the wallabies squad a few years ago from 3rd in line behind Cubelli and Dowsett, so we know Cheika’s not going to drop him any time soon

  • Brumby Runner

    Sully, Henry Speight crossed the chalk twice. One after a brace of very quick hands by Rory Arnold and Allan Ala’alatoa, and the other a bit of vintage Speight second receiver off a lineout and beat two or three defenders to dot down under the posts.

    Being down 17 – 0 in the first half, it was a very impressive performance after the half time break. Three tries apiece is not too shabby against the Chiefs at home.

    Tom Banks had another top notch game and his chase on McKenzie was very impressive. Powell got hit hard early in the game and I think was suffering for the rest of the match. Possibly wouldn’t have passed the HIA had he been checked.

    I have to mention again that the NZ sides are illegally targeting Pocock with the express intention of taking him out of the game. Yesterday it was a shoulder charge to his head while lying on the ground out of the ruck. Should have been a YC for the clean out (tackle without the ball) on a player on the ground, upgraded to a RC for the shoulder to the head. When will the officials and administrators do something to stop these foul play acts?

    • Archie

      Perhaps ‘Poey’ should stop playing the ball on the deck.

      • juswal

        ‘McCaw! McCaw! Squawk!’

        • Archie

          Aha. Difference is that McCaw nearly always won so there was never much to whinge and moan about.

        • Greg

          So was Pocok in the ruck? I haven’t seen the game yet.

        • Pedro

          People are still whinging after he’s retired.

        • Archie

          Tell me about it. Can’t believe Juswal even brought him up in the conversation! Some people just can’t let it go

      • Brumby Runner

        Maybe, but in this instance, Pocock was not part of the ruck but was lying on the ground some little distance away. And if I’m not mistaken, the ruck had finished anyway and the ball was already at least a pass along the line.

        It had the appearance of a pre-meditated move designed to inflict injury. Malicious play by a foul player.

      • Mica

        So are you implying that if you think an opposition player is doing something illegal then they’re fair game for foul play?
        You’re comments are usually more substantial than this with at least an explanation into how you viewed the incident in question.

        • Archie

          No not at all mate. I agree with you… nothing excuses any foul play. I was just being a bit tongue in cheek as that was always the standard response to Kiwis who’d complain when a certain former NZ no.7 was illegally dealt to by the opposition :)

        • Mica

          Fair enough, but I suspect that Pocock has had to deal with more foul play than Richie. E.g. I don’t remember Burger trying to remove Richie’s head (don’t think about that too much) from his shoulders. Then again I might have just noticed it more with Pocock. :)

  • Andy

    I actually think Rasta is a good ref but that was just not good enough from the officials.

    Key moment of the game they decide not to use the technology when it’s right in front of their face. Would have taken 2 seconds to see the slap down. Instead, they ignore it despite the protest from the captain. Just another really pathetic example of where rugby has lost the plot.

    • Archie

      Wow… this site was full of ‘the TMO has too much input and is ruining the game’ sentiment in the last two weeks following Ireland’s series victory… now the wind has changed direction??

      • Brumby Runner

        A couple of observations Archie. Most people seem to criticise the uninvited interventions by the TMO, rather than wait on the central ref asking for a review. Secondly, the most annoying aspect of the TMo is the unnecessary and time wasting repetition of replays, in full speed, slo mo and super slo mo, before a decision is made. Most incidents are reasonably clear after one or two replays and that should be all that is required.

        On the last play yesterday, Rasta should have acceded to the request to review the incident and it would have confirmed a knock on, perhaps deliberate, by the Chiefs. He erred and as a result the Brumbies were denied a fair and lawful opportunity to try to win the game.

        It’s not a question of bleating about the TMO but about the system for its use.

        • Archie

          Sure I hear what you’re saying. The Brumbies also knocked on at the base of a ruck leading up to their second try. Should the TMO have been used to deny that one?

        • Brumby Runner

          Probably, especially if there was an appeal to the ref by the Chiefs’ captain.

        • Archie

          Yep there certainly was, but the ref ignored him. At least he’s consistent I guess.

          Personally I was OK with that though as I don’t want us to get to a stage where we are checking non-foul play stuff with the TMO all the time slowing the game down (even when a try has been awarded, let alone when no try has even occurred).

        • Pedro

          I thought the knock on was the tackled player placing the ball. Looked weird because he placed it forwards rather than backwards.

          Only saw it live though so could be wrong.

      • first time long time

        It was a match deciding decision. Nice to get those ones right????
        Admittedly the Brums screwed the pooch in the first half which put them in that position but playing poorly in the first half doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be afforded the a chance to win it at the death because of a bad decision.

      • Andy

        I’m not against the TMO concept. It’s the consistency of the use for me. There is absolutely none of it.

  • Richard Patterson

    Always intrigued by the seemingly bipolar nature of certain folks on this excellent website. Some days they contribute insightful, intelligent commentary on all things rugby. On other days they transform themselves into underwhelming individuals who bash anyone un-Australian. Sometimes you wonder would the real person stand up. They say though stuff written from the heart is often a better gauge than stuff written from the head.

    • Gun

      It is an Australian website dedicated to Australian rugby Richard. You know where you can get excellent Kiwi insight.

      • Richard Patterson

        Thank you for pointing that out Gun.

  • Jamie Miller

    I know I sound like a broken record, but at one point the penalty count was 12-2. Exactly how many times did the chiefs have to kill the play before a yellow for repeated infringements was given? Seriously?

  • Nutta

    Thanks for the effort Sully. I switched off my first attempt at watching replay when the Donkeys bombed their 4th opportunity in the Canes red zone. Then this morning I switched on just in time to see the blatent yellow ignored once the Donkeys did score a try and then the clear yellow that should of gone on the Kiwi4 for the offside intercept also go unpunished. Switched off again at that point.

    I compare that to the ridiculous red I saw last night on the Pinger and the host of other idiotic cards and non-cards of the last month and I am really starting to think the lunatics have taken over the asylum.

    Welcome back K-Train

    Well done Canes. Took your chances and won the raffle. We need to be smarter and we need to stop wasting chances.

ACT Brumbies

Just another Rugby tragic. Shane "Sully" Sullivan has been in man love with the game since high school in the 70's. He inflicts his passion on family and anyone who will listen. He can't guarantee unbiased opinion but he can tell you the Reds are Awesome! To read non-rugby content head to

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