Brumbies, Raiders reveal groundbreaking partnership

Super Rugby
by Sam Phillips

The Brumbies have revealed an enterprising move to get Canberra sports fans to GIO Stadium, offering members of the Brumbies and Raiders an opportunity to go to either team's first home game at no extra cost.

The Brumbies play their first home game against the Sharks on March 17 and the Raiders face the Knights in their first home start the day after, providing a perfect opportunity for members of either team to double dip their season passes on two consecutive days.

It's a push from the commercial team of both clubs that has been given the tick by coach Dan McKellar, with crowds waning at both Brumbies and Raiders home games in recent years.

"I think it's a great initiative to get along and support both teams because Canberra is a much smaller community than the bigger cities," McKellar said.

"We've got to help each other out and both commercial teams from both organisations have done a great job to put this together."

McKellar is a bit of a league man himself having grown up in north Queensland - a proud heartland of the code - and the man he is up against in the coaches box this Friday, Brad Thorn, has a proud record with both the Broncos and Maroons.

It will be all about the 15-man game when the Reds meet the Brumbies at Suncorp Stadium, though, as ACT seek a better overall performance than what they put up against the Sunwolves.

"There were patches in that first half where we would have liked to have executed better," McKellar said.

"But what I liked about the boys is that we remained calm, composed, stuck to the task and came away with four points.

"Round one, if we had and good on the plane and said we could have had our four points now, we would have taken it.

"This period is about making sure our training is short and sharp and come game time, the boys are feeling fresh and ready to play."

McKellar said a push to take the attacking initiative had been a key focus against a Reds side that lost their shape defensively, albeit with 14 men, in the second half against the Rebels.

"One thing we have reviewed is that at times, while we want to play a direct game, when the space is there and available we need to make sure we identify that, communicate it to our playmakers and use our skill to get the ball there," he said.

"We need to see that more often.

"Once we create opportunity, we need to have the belief to take it."

One man that won't be in Brisbane is promising backrower Rob Valetini, who had surgery on his knee on Wednesday.

McKellar said the best case scenario for a return is a six to eight week absence, with the worst frame in the 10 to 12 week ball park.

The Brumbies head to Brisbane to face the Reds at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night, kicking off at 7:45pm AEDT, broadcast LIVE on FOX SPORTS and on radio.