Brumbies finding attacking spark

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

They’ll be facing one of the best attacking sides in Super Rugby on Saturday night, but the Brumbies have plenty of confidence in their own backline to fire against the Hurricanes.

The Brumbies’ 43 tries so far this season  is 11 behind their round 17 opponents, the Hurricanes, but it is already greater than the 41 they had in 2017, and they have also conceded five-pointers of any any Australian team.

An ability to pick and stick has helped the Brumbies in recent weeks, while the form of fullback Tom Banks has only boosted their threats.

Banks’ try-scoring form put him into the Wallabies’ June Series squad, and Brumbies coach Dan McKellar said he would be even better in what will likely be their final three 2018 matches..

Tom Banks had a double for the Brumbies. Photo: Getty Images“(He’s got) a lot of belief, a lot of confidence, playing with freedom,” he said. 

“Banksy, I'm sure he's learned plenty in the Wallaby camp being exposed to the best players and some of the best coaches getting around.

“So, he's just got to come back now and slot back in and continue to do what he was doing because his attacking game and game in general was in really good shape before the break.”

Though McKellar feels there is still plenty of work to do, he was pleasantly surprised at the mark that the side had hit.

“It’s nice to have that combination and familiarity with the backs and obviously the changes in the forwards are through guys coming back, but from a backline point of view, it's good to get some consistency around our combination,” he said.

“I think we're getting there.

“I noticed yesterday, we already scored more tries than last year.

“Attack's been good the last few weeks and we want to keep getting better there and keep challenging ourselves to use our skill.”

One player the Brumbies won’t see again in 2018 is winger Chance Peni, who was suspended for six weeks  over a spear tackle in club rugby, in his first game back from a lengthy Super Rugby suspension.

“I was with Chance when he faced the judiciary on Monday night and it's disappointing, he's shattered,” McKellar said.

“It's his fourth suspension now in 15 months so six weeks probably, think it's a fair hearing, there's no doubting that there.

“One of Chance's strengths is he's a physical player, he's an in your face sort of player and you don't want to take that away, he's just got to control his aggression and we've spoken about it moving forward, we just want to make him a really good dominant low tackler and take the other possibilities with his tackle technique away.”

The Brumbies had been building some momentum ahead of the break and prop Scott Sio said there was no time to ease their way into the post-June break, despite the Wallabies having just finished a rollercoaster series.

“I think that's the thing - like everything, like in rugby, you're not going to win every game, and it's a reaction, it's what you need,” he said.

“When you win, it's the reaction to build again, go in bigger the next week and when you lose, it's to learn from that and come in and do the same thing you would do week in, week out.

“I think what I've learned over time, is you don't have the time to sulk and think, 'Why did this not happen for us,', you've got to get going.

“Monday's too late, if you're coming in to do review.

“You've got to get going on Sunday, get it done and then get ready to train hard on Monday, Tuesday.”

The Brumbies host the Hurricanes at Canberra Stadium on Saturday June 30, kicking off at 7:45pm AEST, LIVE on FOX SPORTS and via RADIO. Buy tickets here.