New Zealand teams have lost respect for Aussies in Super Rugby along the way to 27 consecutive trans-Tasman wins, Brumbies coach Dan McKellar says.
Respect was the word of the day for McKellar on Wednesday, more specifically how to bring some back from Dunedin, when the Brumbies make the first New Zealand trip of 2018.
The Rebels are the only side to have played a New Zealand Super Rugby side this season, going down 50-19 to the Hurricanes a fortnight ago, but none has crossed the ditch in the new competition format.
McKellar said there was a sense that Kiwi teams didn’t respect their Australian foes, with such a lopsided record.
“I think Australian teams in Super Rugby at the moment, in New Zealand, probably aren't respected, so we've got to go about changing that,” he said.
“I think we've had a really good week, we take confidence out of our performance against the Reds but understand that what we did against the Reds isn't going to cut it in Dunedin.
“We've got to be better and improve and make sure we're ready to play and play for 80 minutes.
“You look at our results in recent times in New Zealand, there's not too many times where it's been one-sided by any means, it's just been critical moments within the game that we haven't won and we've got to change that.”
All road trips are difficult in Super Rugby, McKellar said, but this one was critical for his side.
“New Zealand is intimidating, South Africa's intimidating,” he said.
“It's just the nature of being on the road but this is a real opportunity for us to earn some respect as a club and put a line in the sand.
“We're all a little bit of sick of talking about the hoodoo that apparently exists.”
The Brumbies have won in Dunedin before - beating the Highlanders 30-19 when they visited in 2013 - and McKellar said the players in that team certainly will take some memories this time around.
“Quite a lot of guys (in the squad now) were there that played that day,” he said.
“What happened in 2013, we know it's not just going to happen again.
“I think what we took out of that game and what the boys had to say about that was you've got to go over there and be prepared to chance your arm.”
The Brumbies will be without Lochie McCaffrey, out for six weeks with a dislocated elbow, while Henry Speight is set to sit out one more game with a knee concern.
The Brumbies take on the Highlanders in Dunedin on Saturday, kicking off at 5:35pm AEST, LIVE on FOX SPORTS.