Effort, intent not enough against quality opposition: McKellar

Super Rugby
by Sam Phillips

The Brumbies must learn how to win games when effort and intent isn't enough, according to coach Dan McKellar.

Having sat through an agonising second half in which the Brumbies blew countless opportunities to blow past the Crusaders, McKellar couldn't fault his team's attitude post match.

"Our attitude, effort and intent, if you win games off the back of that... but unfortunately when you play the best in the world - and I consider those boys to be the best provincial side in the world - effort and intent doesn't always win the game," McKellar said.

"We had opportunities out there tonight and we just weren't good enough to take them in the end.

"Just some decisions we made there when they had 13 guys on the field.

"Key moments where you have to take your chances and decisions we make that hurt us in the end."

While he couldn't fault his side's effort, McKellar pointed to a lack of game management nous as the difference between the two sides.

"Experience is key and summing up different situations within a game," he said.

"Game management can be coached and that's something we are working really hard on with our boys - understanding different scenarios and situations within a game and the decisions we make around that.

"That's certainly something we are working on each week within the boys."

Brumbies captain Sam Carter cut a similarly frustrated figure.

"The only way to get better from it is to learn from these situations," he said.Sam Carter was a frustrated captain after the loss to the Crusaders. Photo: Getty Images"When we get in that situation we have to be better and we will beat better teams like that."

A week off awaits the Brumbies before they take host the Rebels in what shapes as a must win clash for ACT.

"We've got a week off and the boys are going to get away, refresh and then we will hit the ground running," Carter said.

"That's another opportunity to get better and another opportunity to win a game."

On the injury front, McKellar said both David Pocock and Rob Valetini would face fitness tests in the coming fortnight, with no update on how severe Isi Naisarani's ankle injury is.

Andrew Smith also copped a knock to the shoulder in the first half.