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ACT Brumbies beat Waikato Chiefs to fire warning shot to Super Rugby rivals

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Brumbies thump the Chiefs

The Brumbies have held onto top spot in the Australian conference.

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The ACT Brumbies have fired a warning shot to their Super Rugby rivals, thumping two-time defending champions the Waikato Chiefs in a grand final re-match on Friday night.

But Brumbies skipper Ben Mowen has warned his team to temper celebrations, declaring the only way to avenge last season's grand final defeat is to win this year's title.

Brumbies playmaker Matt Toomua reaches out to score one of his two tries on Friday night.

Brumbies playmaker Matt Toomua reaches out to score one of his two tries on Friday night.

Brumbies versus Chiefs
View Match Statistics
Players Toomua (29min, 80min), Tomane (46min), Kuridrani (56min, 60min) Tries 5 Tries 2 Players Weber (73min), Hohneck (78min)
Players Lealiifano 1/4 (25%), White 1/1 (100%) Conversions 2 Conversions 2 Players Horrell 2/2 (100%)
Players Lealiifano 2/3 (66%), White 2/2 (100%) Penalty goals 4 Penalty goals 3 Players Anscombe 3/4 (75%)
Players Drop goals 0 Drop goals 0 Players

The Brumbies unleashed a second-half attacking onslaught to beat the Chiefs 41-23 at Canberra Stadium, their first win against the New Zealanders since 2011.

Matt Toomua and Tevita Kuridrani scored two tries each and winger Joseph Tomane showed some acrobatic skills to propel the Brumbies to a critical bonus-point win.

It was the perfect start to a five-week stretch of matches capable of making or breaking the Brumbies' championship dreams as they play the Canterbury Crusaders, Jake White's Durban Sharks and go on a two-game tour of South Africa.

Robbie Coleman passes to Christian Lealiifano. Click for more photos

ACT Brumbies take on the Chiefs

ACT Brumbies take on the Chiefs at GIO Stadium in Canberra Photo: Rohan Thomson

Mowen was reluctant to get carried away with a five-try victory against the injury-ravaged Chiefs.

The Brumbies are targeting a top two finish this year to avoid the massive travel schedule associated with slipping down the ladder and have won four games in a row at home for the first time since 2010.

"To be honest, it's a round game. We want to win a championship because that's what wipes out a lost championship," Mowen said.

"We're nowhere near that yet. It's a great win, but we'll park it tonight and then move on to next week."

The Brumbies are second on the ladder and lead the Australian conference after the NSW Waratahs stumbled against the Auckland Blues on Friday night.

Perhaps the most crucial element is the Brumbies being able to put a team to the sword and capitalise on their dominance with a bonus point.

Despite scoring 27 tries in seven wins this season, the Brumbies have only secured two four-try bonus points.

Toomua scored his first career double and starred in the Brumbies' back-line, his outstanding defensive effort earning praise from director of rugby Laurie Fisher.

Toomua is staking his claim for the Wallabies playmaking duties for the June Test series against France and Australian coach Ewen McKenzie was in Canberra for the Chiefs game.

"We're not big on saying too much. We came second last year but we'd like to think we can be around the pointy end," Toomua said.

"There are so many games to go, you've got to get to the finals first. It was huge to get this win. Any team can turn up each week but if you lose one next week and you're back to square one."

The Brumbies face a back-line selection headache with winger Henry Speight getting closer to a return and Christian Lealiifano and Pat McCabe competing for the inside centre duties.

Powerhouse No. 8 Fotu Auelua is in contention to return from a knee injury against the Crusaders in Christchurch on Saturday.

Chiefs coach Dave Rennie said his side was "out-passioned and outmuscled" with the Brumbies intent on easing the pain of last season's defeat.

The Chiefs have won just one of their past five games, but temporarily hold on to the top spot in the New Zealand conference.

"If we play with the right energy levels we can roll anyone," Rennie said.

"We have to be a hell of a lot better, there's no doubt about that. We're all frustrated ... tonight we got outplayed but we're certainly not panicking."

Toomua's try lifted the Brumbies to a 13-6 half-time lead, but the Brumbies dropped the ball four times, the Chiefs coughed up eight turnovers and both teams missed seven tackles.

The Brumbies got further in front when the backs showed brilliant hands and  Tomane got the ball down with some superb acrobatics to score in the corner.

It was a crucial moment with the game in the balance.

Jesse Mogg's pass to Tomane appeared to go forward, but unclear camera angles worked in the Brumbies' favour to give them a lucky break.

Chiefs reserve James Lowe was sent to the sin bin in the second half for tripping Tomane as the Brumbies closed in on victory.

The Chiefs started to implode with the game all but gone, botching two kick-offs and losing their way before they hit back with two late tries to reserves Brad Weber and Josh Hohneck.


ACT BRUMBIES 41 (Tevita Kuridrani 2, Matt Toomua 2, Joseph Tomane tries; Christian Lealiifano 2, Nic White 2 penalties; Christian Lealiifano, Nic White conversions) bt WAIKATO CHIEFS 23 (Brad Weber, Josh Hohneck tries; Gareth Anscombe 3 penalties; Andrew Horrell 2 conversions) at Canberra Stadium on Friday night. Referee: Steve Walsh. Crowd: 16,159.

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ACT Brumbies captain Ben Mowen backs Robbie Coleman to make next step

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The Brumbies have held onto top spot in the Australian conference.

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Rugby Internationals 2014

Round 1
Sat, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 18 vs TGA 18 Report Stats
FJI 25 vs ITA 14 Report Stats
NZL 20 vs ENG 15 Report Stats
AUS 50 vs FRA 23 Report Stats
Sun, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 47 vs WXV 13 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 29 Report Stats
USA 6 vs SCO 24 Report Stats
CAN 25 vs JPN 34 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sat, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 15 vs ITA Report Stats
FJI 45 vs TGA 17 Report Stats
NZL 28 vs ENG 27 Report Stats
AUS 6 vs FRA Report Stats
Sun, 15 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 38 vs WAL 16 Report Stats
CAN 17 vs SCO 19 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 23 Report Stats
USA 29 vs JPN 37 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Sat, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
ARG 19 vs SCO 21 Report Stats
FJI 13 vs SAM 18 Report Stats
JPN 26 vs ITA 23 Report Stats
AUS 39 vs FRA 13 Stats
NZL 36 vs ENG 13 Report Stats
Sun, 22 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 31 vs WAL 30 Report Stats
USA 38 vs CAN 35 Report Stats
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Round 4
Sun, 29 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 55 vs SCO 6 Report Stats
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Round 5
Sun, 02 NovTimes shown AEDT
BAR vs AUS 01:30Twic
USA vs NZL 07:00Soldier Field
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Sun, 09 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA vs SAM 01:00Stadio Del Duca
ENG vs NZL 01:30Twic
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FRA vs FJI 03:45Stade Velodrome
IRE vs RSA 04:30Lansdowne Road
SCO vs ARG 04:30Murrayfield Stadium
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Round 7
Sun, 16 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA vs ARG 01:00Stadio Comunale Luigi Ferraris
ENG vs RSA 01:30Twic
WAL vs FJI 01:30MilS
SCO vs NZL 04:30Murrayfield Stadium
FRA vs AUS 07:00StdF
Mon, 17 NovTimes shown AEDT
IRE vs GEO 01:30Lansdowne Road
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Round 8
Sun, 23 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA vs RSA 01:00Stadio Plebiscito
SCO vs TGA 01:30Rugby Park
IRE vs AUS 03:30Lansdowne Road
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FRA vs ARG 07:00StdF
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Round 9
Sun, 30 NovTimes shown AEDT
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