Brumbies keep the heat on NZ teams

The ACT Brumbies remain contenders for the inaugural Super Rugby Pacific title after beating New Zealand opposition for the third straight week.

The Blues hammered the Melbourne Rebels 71-28 at Eden Park on Friday to stay top of the standings but the Brumbies and New South Wales Waratahs both won on the eastern shores of the Tasman Sea on Saturday to restore pride for Australia.

The Brumbies were at their clinical best as they outmuscled the Chiefs 38-28 in Hamilton to stay two points behind the Blues in second place ahead of the Crusaders, who romped to a 53-15 victory over the Western Force in Perth.

The Waratahs beat Moana Pasifika 26-20.

Australian teams were only able to win two of 25 matches against New Zealand sides last season so three victories from three matches against trans-Tasman rivals this year have marked the Brumbies out as genuine championship contenders.

"I said to the boys 'great teams win in New Zealand'," said coach Dan McKellar.

"Not that we're a great team but we're a team on the rise. We'll certainly enjoy it but we've got the Crusaders next week so it doesn't get any easier."