It’s time for the Brumbies’ pack to draw a line in the sand, says lock Rory Arnold.
The Brumbies host the Reds on Saturday, having gone down in all three of their Australian derbies this season, a record that puts them on the verge of missing the finals for the first time since 2012.
Though Arnold stopped short of calling it a sudden-death prospect, he admitted the ACT franchise needed to turn their poor run around.
“We've got a long way to go in the season, (so) it's not make or break, but we do identify it's a big game for us, (because we're) probably not where we want to be on the table,” he said.
“We haven't won a game against an Australian franchise yet, so it is a big game for us and we have to get the result this week.”
The Reds outmuscled the Brumbies in an 18-10 defeat in Queensland in round three, and Arnold said their forwards needed to return the favour on Saturday night.
“They probably got one up on us up there,” he said.
“They get to come down to Canberra now and it's time for us to draw a line in the sand and everybody's got to step up and get this result this week, it's going to be a big game.”
In that front-end, the Brumbies have some heavy hitters that were absent at Suncorp, with Scott Sio now 100 per cent fit and David Pocock making his long-awaited return against the Waratahs.
Pocock clinched three important pilfers last weekend and Arnold said the team lifted from his presence.
“You've seen how good he was on the weekend on the ball, able to get two or three pilfers,” he siad.
“It’s just massive, it slows the play down and lets our defence get set.”
Even the man Pocock displaced in the starting side, Tom Cusack, can’t begrudge being demoted for the Wallabies flanker.
“It's tough but an easy one in a way, because you know that he is the best in the world so you're somewhat happy to see him come back into the scheme of things and put himself forward as he did last weekend,” he said.
“Little things like that you take for granted.
“He's a good person to have around you - he's a great character to have around.
“The team will lift and have lifted from him being back.
“It's an easy one to swallow. I'm happy to be on the bench or help wherever need be.”
The Brumbies host the Reds in Canberra on Saturday night, kicking off at 7:45pm AEST, LIVE on FOX SPORTS and via RUGBY.com.au RADIO. Buy tickets here.