The Brumbies will be prepared to “choke out” a running Blues side if that’s what it takes to win in Auckland this weekend, winger James Dargaville says.
Auckland has stuck to a ball-in-hand mentality this season and Dargaville said they need only look at last month’s Wallabies vs England Test series for a way to counter that.
“As we've seen with the Wallabies sometimes having too much possession can be a bad thing,” he said.
“So if we can really choke them out, defend well, lift our defence from last week, I think we'll go a long way to winning the game.”
Dargaville will likely have to beat out returning winger Joe Tomane to keep his starting spot, though the 24-year-old has been impressive of late for the ACT both on the wing and in a brief foray at inside centre.
Tomane was in career-best form before a knee injury curtailed his 2016 season, leading the Australian conference in tries scored.
“I think it's more of a week to week process, especially with Joe on his way back, you've just got to perform well and if Bernie feels that you're the right fit for the team at that time of the year then so be it,” Dargaville said.
“I've just enjoyed the last five rounds really getting some decent game time.”
The Brumbies had a sluggish start at home against the Reds and can’t afford to make the same mistake against the Blues, something of which prop Allan Alaalatoa said the side was fully aware.
“I think the Reds really came out strong on Friday night,” he said.
“That is something we need to work on and something we'll be looking to improve for Friday's game.
A bonus point looms as a critical goal for the Brumbies, with their closest conference rivals the Waratahs facing a mammoth challenge against the Hurricanes on Saturday night, but prop Allan Alaalatoa said a win would need to be priority number one.
“I think every game heading towards the finals now is going to be a final for us,” he said.
“Blues in Auckland always going to be a tough match so you can't be looking at trying to get a bonus point, we just have to look at getting the win first.”
There is a bit of history for the Brumbies to be wary of, with the Blues pulling out a 30-16 win in Canberra in 2012 to end the ACT’s chances of finals.
The physicality of an Eden Park battle is of more concern to Alaalatoa, though.
“I just heard the boys saying there's a few injuries that always come out of Eden Park so looking at a hard battle, which you’re always going to get against the Blues,” he said.