Super Rugby 2020: Warren Gatland blames poor first half after shock loss to Brumbies

Chiefs coach Warren Gatland concedes his side lacked discipline and made too many first half handling mistakes after their shock loss to the Brumbies on Saturday night.

Gatland's side thudded back to earth after the men from Canberra fired up for a shock 26-14 Super Rugby win in Hamilton.

They were however stronger in the second half. Two quickfire tries brought them back in contention with 25 minutes to play, but the Brumbies were able to repel the comeback threat.

It was the Brumbies' first win in New Zealand since 2014.

"[It was] a very poor first half with penalties and turnovers," Gatland admitted.

Warren Gatland.
Warren Gatland. Photo credit: Getty

"We were better in the second half - we got ourselves back in the game with 15 minutes to go.

"If we scored we could have snuck it. To be honest we didn't deserve it - they deserved to win.

"They looked like they were a bit hungrier than us and wanted it a bit more, and they were strong at the breakdown, collisions and that for us is disappointing."

Captain Sam Cane captain agreed they didn't have the right attitude or intensity.

"I thought particularly in the first half we were sort of the shell of the team we have been for the first few weeks," he said. "Credit to the Brumbies side. We just came up and didn't have the right attitude and intensity, in the first half particularly."

Super Rugby 2020: Warren Gatland blames poor first half after shock loss to Brumbies
Photo credit: Photosport

While it was the Chiefs' first loss of the season, Gatland admits they need to improve around the contact and breakdown areas.

"It's a tough competition and they were probably hurting from last week," said Gatland, referring to the Brumbies last gasp loss to the Highlanders in Canberra.

"Fair play to them, they deserve that."

While Gatland was disappointed to lose the match, he said it wasn't anything to do with his side's preparation.

"There wasn't anything we didn't prepare for, unfortunately, we just weren't good enough on the night."

Next week, they have the bye before travelling to Sydney to play the Waratahs on March 6 - an opportunity to bounce back.

"If we get those two or three things right it will make a big difference to the next game," Gatland said.