Job done for the Chiefs.

Now they wait on the result of the Hurricanes v Crusaders to see whether they need to jump on a bus at 2am bound for Auckland Airport and a quarter-final date with the Stormers in the Republic, or whether they can head home in leisurely fashion, unpack and then head to Canberra for a Friday night appointment with the team they have just beaten.

To be clear, if the Hurricanes win in Wellington, they will travel to Canberra and the Chiefs have the long-haul travel to face the Stormers.

The home team did what they had to to defeat an undermanned but committed Brumbies this evening at FMG Stadium. It was not always fluent, and they often laboured in their quest for a bonus point, but it didn't have to be fluent in every facet when the Damian McKenzie show was in full swing. The Chiefs fullback, the best No 15 in the competition, with apologies to Jordie Barrett, was in magical touch, scoring one try, setting up two, kicking five goals and delivering an amazing three accurate reverse passes. This is the man who cannot get in the All Blacks. But he will get back into the full squad fairly soon on this form.


McKenzie was central to all that was good from the Chiefs, but there was just not enough patience or solid structure, other than a dominant scrum, where Kane Hames did severe damage to the Australians. However, it was more than enough for New Zealand sides to finish 25-0 versus their trans-Tasman counterparts in 2017, a remarkable and worrying statistic.

The Brumbies have won the Australian conference with a 6-9 record, and while the likes of flanker and captain Scott Fardy toiled manfully and they scored a sweetly taken try to centre Nigel Ah Wong, they were never seriously going to threaten victory by resting several of their main men, nor missing 18 tackles, half of them, it seemed, on McKenzie.

Wing Henry Speight, back on his old provincial stomping ground, had few opportunities. But the Brumbies did bring the shoulder to the breakdown wheel and utilised the rush defence that has been such a talking point in New Zealand rugby over the last few weeks.

Liam Messam was a late scratching due to injury, but even with two opensides in Lachie Boshier and Mitch Karpik, the Chiefs were not able to force many turnovers. Michael Leitch did well in his final home game before returning to Japan, scoring a try, while Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Aaron Cruden and James Lowe, not to mention coach Dave Rennie, were all involved in their final home game before heading abroad.

The Chiefs will welcome back their battered All Blacks Sam Cane, Brodie Retallick and Anton Lienert-Brown for the quarter-final. They will need them to inject some urgency and accuracy because this at times loose display will not cut it in the playoffs.

Stephen Donald replaced a limping Charlie Ngatai at halftime for his 100th Super Rugby appearance but his cutout passes bore little fruit.

Chiefs 28 (Damian McKenzie, Solomon Alaimalo, Michael Leitch tries; McKenzie 2 con, 3 pen)
Brumbies 10 (Nigel Ah Wong try; Wharenui Hawera con, pen)
HT: 13-10