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New Zealand's Chiefs have come from behind to win back-to-back Super Rugby titles with a 27-22 victory over Australia's ACT Brumbies this morning (UK time) in Hamliton.

It was nail-biting stuff for the home fans, but the defending champions' class shone through late as they leveled through Robbie Robinson, Aaron Cruden held his nerve for the conversion to take the lead, and then held on.

The Chiefs had to play catch up for the second time this fortnight, but were outstanding in the latter stages of the final at Waikato Stadium.

The hosts trailed 16-9 at the break after Christian Lealiifano added a late intercept try and conversion to his three first half penalties for Brumbies. 

With 20 minutes to go the Chiefs were still behind 22-12 but two tries in five minutes turned the tables with Cruden adding the extras, finding his range after missing three earlier kicks. 

Uncharacteristic handling errors cost the Chiefs in the first half while the Brumbies dominated the breakdown as they took a 9-0 lead through Lealilfano's deft kicking.

The Chiefs pegged it back to 9-9 through Cruden's right boot, once he worked out how to use it, before Lealiifano snatched seven points. 

After the break Lealiifano made it 19-9 and the visitors were in control. 

A string of changes gave the Chiefs a spark, with the introduction of Ben Afeaki, Bundee Aki and Sam Cane.

A tight call from the unsighted TMO meant he couldn't allow a try to the Brumbies, who won a penalty soon after when Tanerau Latimer illegally entered a ruck and the Brumbies' points machine Lealiifano made it 22-12.

Impressive Liam Messam led the fightback with a try from a 5m scrum just after prop Afeaki was held up to get the Chiefs back in the game. 

Cruden missed another penalty - eight points wasted from his kicking - but it just served to make the finish more thrilling. 

Fullback Robinson showed an epic turn of speed to zip through the Brumbies broken up defence untouched to tie the game, at 22-22 and Cruden gave Chiefs the lead. 

A 34m penalty soon after and strong defending sealed the Chiefs' victory. 

Images via Getty


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Super Rugby: Chiefs win back-to-back championships with come-from-behind 27-22 victory over Brumbies
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