FINALS HOPES: Tomas Cubelli of the Brumbies in action against the Waratahs.
FINALS HOPES: Tomas Cubelli of the Brumbies in action against the Waratahs. DEAN LEWINS

Brumbies take heart from last Highlanders defeat

RUGBY: Having been highly competitive without getting the win last time they played the Highlanders, the Brumbies know they need to improve to prevail in Friday night’s Super Rugby quarter-final in Canberra.

The ACT side went down 23-10 to the New Zealand outfit on April 30 in Invercargill despite dominating possession for the first half of the game.

“I think that is a game to think about. We played a good first half and we can take some things from that,” Brumbies halfback Tomas Cubelli told his club’s website.

“But it wasn’t reflected on the scoreboard. It’s a big challenge but we all love to play against good players and try to beat them.”

The Australian Conference winners have the benefit of the home-ground advantage against the Otago outfit in front of a parochial crowd.

“We’re very excited,” ACT flanker Scott Fardy said.

“It’s the fourth time in a row we get to play in the finals and we’re looking forward to getting a big crowd in at Canberra Stadium.

“Every time you see a big crowd here you see the players lift. It’s huge for us.”

Worryingly for the hosts, however, they’ve won only one of their five games against New Zealand Conference teams in 2016.

“They have great skills and the tempo will be very high,” Cubelli said.

“So it’s another big challenge for us but I think we can manage that.

“We are really excited about this week – it’s the thing we’ve been chasing all year.

“We’ve worked really hard to be in the finals ... now it’s about the way everyone improves as a player.”



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