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Brumbies eyeing revenge against the Chiefs after semi-final loss

By AAP
Samisoni Taukei'aho of the Chiefs charges forward during the Super Rugby Pacific Semi Final match between Chiefs and Brumbies at FMG Stadium Waikato, on June 17, 2023, in Hamilton, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

ACT Brumbies hooker Lachie Lonergan believes his team can make an early Super Rugby Pacific statement by rolling the powerhouse Chiefs this weekend.

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Against the side that ended their 2023 campaign in the semi-finals, the Brumbies are out to continue their rampaging start to the year after belting Melbourne 30-3 first-up.

But the Chiefs, who ended last season as runners-up, are an entirely different proposition.

They avenged their final defeat with a 33-29 win against the Crusaders in a scintillating encounter in Waikato, Lonergan acknowledging a victory in the Super Round clash would be a genuine scalp.

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“They’re a good defensive side and they’ve obviously got good players like D-Mac (halfback Damian McKenzie), their No.9 and No.10 combination steers the ship well … they’ve got exciting players so we have to defend well and look after their threats,” he said.

“We haven’t talked about (the semi-final loss) too much, but it’s always playing on everyone’s minds.

“We’re keen to (play) them, they’re a good team to (play), so everyone’s pretty excited.

“Losing to them in the semi-finals, it would be good to get one up on them early on in the season.”

While their 27-point win against the Rebels reads well on the surface, the Brumbies have plenty to fix from their first competitive hit-out of the campaign.

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They gave away a whopping 20 penalties, allowing Melbourne to comfortably win the territory battle despite only finding three points.

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A similar performance discipline-wise would end in defeat against the Chiefs, Lonergan said.

“It was annoying on the weekend, but I think they’re easy fixes,” he said.

“We’ve obviously looked at them, there’s just stupid stuff around the ruck so we’ve got to be a lot better there.

“We didn’t get pinged on the weekend for it, but the Chiefs would take every opportunity they can.

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“It’s gonna be a physical battle … good breakdown, good set-piece will go a long way to winning. They’re obviously a quality side but I think we’ll be up for it.”

Brumbies team to play Chiefs:

1. James Slipper
2. Lachlan Lonergan
3. Sosefo Kautai
4. Nick Frost
5. Tom Hooper
6. Rob Valetini
7. Luke Reimer
8. Charlie Cale
9. Ryan Lonergan (C)
10. Noah Lolesio
11. Corey Toole
12. Ollie Sapsford
13. Len Ikitau
14. Andy Muirhead (VC)
15. Tom Wright

Finishers

16. Billy Pollard
17. Blake Schoupp
18. Rhys Van Nek
19. Cadeyrn Neville
20. Jahrome Brown
21. Harrison Goddard*
22. Declan Meredith
23. Tamati Tua

*Denotes Club Debut

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