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The Gallagher Chiefs have warmed up for the Super Rugby playoffs with an impressive 28-10 win over the Brumbies at FMG Stadium Waikato.

Showing no signs of rust after the international break, the Gallagher Chiefs scored three tries with plenty of their trademark running rugby on display as fullback Damian McKenzie led the way with a superb all-round performance and a personal tally of 18 points.

The opening moments of the match belonged to the Brumbies as they spent almost the entire first ten minutes with ball in hand, but some sharp defence from the Gallagher Chiefs kept them out comfortably enough.

Two massive scrums from the home side relieved the pressure and, after another brief attack from the Brumbies, the Gallagher Chiefs moved downfield for the first time in the match.

After a few phases of pressure, a penalty was awarded out in front and McKenzie made no mistake to open the scoring with a three-pointer.

Moments later the Chiefs split the Brumbies defence wide open for the first try of the evening. Off the front of a lineout on halfway, wing Solomon Alaimalo was put into a big gap from halfback Tawera Kerr-Barlow and a wide pass out left found McKenzie who showed good speed to finish easily from 30 metres out.

McKenzie converted his own try to make it a 10-0 lead at the end of the first quarter of play.

A quick response from the Brumbies came through centre Nigel Ah Wong who burst onto a short ball, running the perfect line, and he crashed through a couple of Gallagher Chiefs tackles to score.

First five Wharenui Hawera, the former Waikato man back at FMG Stadium Waikato, converted the Ah Wong try to narrow the Gallagher Chiefs lead back to three.

The Chiefs went desperately close to a second try not long after with 11 phases inside the Brumbies 22 ending with Alaimalo nearly scoring in the right hand corner before he was bundled into touch by some good scrambling defence.

Another opportunity then came via an Aaron Cruden cross kick with a leaping McKenzie knocking it on over the line as he attempted to pluck it from the air. Some more good defence forced the Gallagher Chiefs to settle for a second McKenzie penalty.

From the kick off the Gallagher Chiefs were quick to launch another attack with wing James Lowe starting and finishing off a brilliant attacking movement, but the try was ruled out due to a forward pass.

On the stroke of halftime, the Brumbies worked their way downfield and Hawera was able to end the first 40 minutes with a penalty which narrowed the Gallagher Chiefs lead to 13-10 at the break.

A yellow card for the Brumbies led to the perfect start to the second half for the home side. Inside the first two minutes the Gallagher Chiefs stretched the 14 man Brumbies defence with Alaimalo on the end of an overlap to score in the right hand corner.

The Brumbies settled down after the initial blow and no more damage was done with halfback Tomas Cubelli in the sin bin, but the Gallagher Chiefs were next to score as McKenzie added his third penalty of the night.

As the second half wore on the Gallagher Chiefs began to assert their dominance in possession and territory and it seemed a matter of time before they extended their lead. Several substitutions for the final quarter also injected fresh legs, but to the Brumbies credit their tiring defence managed to stop wave after wave of Gallagher Chiefs attack.

Finally, with 10 minutes remaining, the Gallagher Chiefs crossed for their third try. After keeping the ball alive with some quick phases and offloads, space was created and McKenzie popped a pass to Michael Leitch, ranging out wide, and the big Number 8 dived over in the left hand corner.

In the closing minutes the Gallagher Chiefs went in search of a bonus point try that may help their playoff situation, throwing everything at the visitors, but a couple of errors and conceded penalties denied them.

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

The Gallagher Chiefs now await the remaining results of the final round before their playoff fixture for next weekend is confirmed.

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