Fiery rivalry set to reignite

Super Rugby
Matt Lewis Profile
by Matt Lewis

The Brumbies and Waratahs are set to pick up where they left their fiery rivalry in round two, when they clash for the second time this season.

It was the Brumbies who took the honours in that first match up defeating the Waratahs 32-15 at home in a typically heated contest.

Brumbies rookie prop Les Makin was front and centre in that victory in just his second Super Rugby match of his career, but being a Canberra local he has always thrived on playing against NSW.

“It’s always pretty aggressive and there’s plenty of confrontations,” he said.

“I’m sure after last game they’ll be coming hard at us and we’ll be doing the same to get a win at their home ground. “

It was the Brumbies who took the hours in round two, but will it be on Saturday?

It’s been a tough week for the Brumbies as they witnessed one of the team’s most-loved players, Ita Vaea, retire due to heart issues.

“It’s given everyone a bit of extra edge,” Makin said.

“It definitely hit me hard, hearing it personally from him and the kind words Christian (Lealiifano) had for him as well.”

After an impressive start to the season where the Brumbies won their opening three matches, the Canberra side has suffered two losses from the last three matches and could be at risk of dropping out of the top spot in the Australian conference with a loss this weekend.

They will need to rely on their depth against the Waratahs with Stephen Larkham’s men not only without Vaea but also influential backrower David Pocock (suspended).

Halfback Tomas Cubelli said his side would  be able to cover the losses after a much-needed bye.

“We’re feeling good, we had a good rest and we still had positives to take from the Chiefs game,” he said.

“At the same time, that game hurt so I think the team wants to go back and play good rugby and get the win.”

Cubelli is new the Australian rivalry, but understands the importance of the match ahead of his third encounter against the Tahs.

The first game was a friendly game, but it wasn’t very friendly. The second game was very tough, very physical, a lot of tough competition at the breakdown.

The Brumbies take on the Waratahs at Allianz Stadium at 7:40pm AEST Saturday, LIVE on FOX SPORTS.