Brumbies battling back with improved attack

Super Rugby
by Sam Phillips

Brumbies coach Dan McKellar cut a relieved figure after his side cruised past the Sunwolves.

McKellar admitted it was the most nervous he had ever been in the lead up to a match, those nerves largely due to the Test trio saga which played out through the week.

David Pocock, Scott Sio and Allan Alaalatoa were all pulled from the match before the 60 minute mark, having secured the result, a solid outcome for both the Brumbies and the Wallabies secured.

"I was saying just before, I think that's the most nervous I've ever been before a game," he said.

"Just making sure the boys got through unscathed and putting them in a position to play well against Ireland.

"We want the Wallabies doing well and it hasn't been a great week there but hopefully Michael, Bernie and the boys can get them all together in one piece and they can have a really good preparation and win a Test match in Brisbane on Saturday night."

The other focus point heading into the clash was the 15 for 15 initiative, the Brumbies set to donate $15,000 to charity if 15,000 fans turned up.

Just over 9500 people turned up but McKellar is hopeful the kind of rugby the Brumbies played en route to scoring seven tries will bring the fans back.

"There's been a lot of chat about the 5200 crowd (against the Rebels)," he said.

"It was wet and cold and you can understand why people stayed home.

"It's tough to bring your kids out in those sort of conditions but this afternoon it was dry - still cool - but good conditions and I hope they enjoyed a good game of footy.David Pocock starred for the Brumbies. Photo: AFP"I thought our boys were outstanding in attack, the Sunwolves, as we know, always challenge you - they're a unique footy team and I think the crowd appreciated what they brought to the game so come back, come back in droves and bring your friends."

A big part of the uptick in attack was due to a sensational Henry Speight performance, a strong response to his omission from the Wallabies squad this week.

"He's been working hard and he's been one of our outstanding players," captain Christian Lealiifano said.

"To see him get some space and have the performance he's had, it's totally deserved."

The Brumbies now go into the June break where they will travel to Japan to face Suntory before gearing up for a tough run home - facing the Hurricanes (H), Crusaders (A) and Waratahs (A).