Rugby Union 4 years ago

Brumbies Home to Fire

  • Brumbies Home to Fire

There is little doubt that the ACT Brumbies' loss to the Melbourne Rebels last Friday night was a reality check.

The away side tired, and a young Melbourne Rebels outfit was able to turn a half time deficit on it's head and pile on 29 second half points.

Melbourne's forwards rallied outstandingly in taking advantage of an exhausted but far more experienced Brumbies forward pack featuring the likes of Wallabies Ben Alexander, Stephen Moore, Ben Mowen and Scott Fardy.

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But for ACT coaches Stephen Larkham and Laurie Fisher, it was a game that their men perhaps needed. One would be very surprised if the Brumbies' defence opens up so easily again against round eight opponents the Auckland Blues at Canberra Stadium on Friday night.

An unchanged line-up should be named from the one that lost last round, especially with the Blues yet to fire in this year's Super Rugby.

The injury list will remain the same for the Brumbies, with David Pocock (knee, season), Clyde Rathbone (hamstring, coming weeks), Fotu Auelua (knee, round 12), Scott Sio (ankle, coming weeks), Leon Power (knee, coming weeks), and Henry Speight (jaw, four weeks).

Apart from their unexpected loss to the rebels, the Brumbies's depth in players like centre Andrew Smith, winger Robbie Coleman and forwards Jean-Pierre Smith have worked a treat.

The injury toll should not take a detrimental effect on the side throughout the season, but they need to prove this with a consolidated victory against the Blues on Friday.

The Blues have started the Super XV soundly, winning three of six including an upset of competition heavy weights the Canterbury Crusaders.

But they have also suffered a loss to the Johannesburg Lions who are back after a year of relegation.

It will be utility back Benji Marshall's first return to a rugby league venue, and should be met with enthusiasm by a Canberra crowd that lives in a rugby league heartland.

What are the thoughts of rugby fans about the lead up to this clash for both sides?

Will the Brumbies need to re-strengthen? Do the Blues need to prepare for an onslaught?

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