Brumbies looking to run wild

Wed, 31 Jan 2018 10:31

SUPER RUGBY SPOTLIGHT: New Brumbies coach Dan McKellar believes his team can behave like the animal they are named after.

McKellar told Fox Sports that the team will look to improve the team's try-scoring record by tweaking the team's style of play in favour of more attacking play.

"We've been focusing on it for a while now, but certainly this pre-season we've changed the way we want to play the game," McKellar said.

"If you think of the Brumbies over the last few years - certainly while I've been here over the past four years - we've been known for our line-out, our maul, our breakdown and our defence, so we've identified that we need to score more tries.

"To do that, we'll tweak how we'll play the game and certainly make sure we're more threatening from unstructured situations and transition."

The Brumbies have made the Super Rugby playoffs the last two years as Australia's conference winner but were bundled out in the first round both times.

Whilst having a strong set-piece the Brumbies scored just 43 tries in 2017, miles behind the finalists from the last two seasons Hurricanes (97), Lions (92) and Crusaders (86).

McKellar said the Brumbies would still look to use their set-piece as a weapon, but the team needed to become better rounded to beat the top teams.

"I was told a stat recently from (new backs coach) Peter Hewat - there are 30 turnovers a game on average, so you need to make sure you're taking advantage of those transition opportunities from a kick- return and turnover attack.

The Brumbies scored just three tries from their own half last season.

"Making sure that we're stretching the defence, keeping them under pressure for as long as possible and capitalising on those opportunities.

"We can't be so reliant on our line-out and our maul and our set-piece to win a competition.

"Whilst that will win us games at times, in conditions and oppositions that we're playing against, it's not going to win us the Super Rugby comp and that's our end goal.

The return of classy flyhalf Christian Lealiifano will help bolster the attack, while Force-recruit Chance Peni will add some strike power out wide with established stars Tevita Kuridrani and Henry Speight.

McKellar said in many respects he would be continuing to build on the attacking foundation left by Larkham.

"We certainly tried, we worked on it last year, this is not new," McKellar said.

"Stephen identified that last year and after that bye round [in Round Seven] we came out against the Reds and we had done a lot of work on transition and kick return and we blew the Reds away at home, so it's certainly not something that's new.

"As individuals, we all have our own ways of how things can be done.

By Mike Hunter, RugbyPass

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sat, 24 February 2018
Treviso v Connacht 12h00 Stadio Monigo
Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints 14h00 Sandy Park
Bath v Sale Sharks 14h30 Recreation Ground
Gloucester v Wasps 14h30 Kingsholm
Harlequins v Newcastle Falcons 14h30 Twickenham Stoop
Bulls v Hurricanes 15h15 Loftus Versfeld
Scotland v England 16h45 BT Murrayfield
Ospreys v Cheetahs 17h30 Liberty Stadium
Scarlets v Ulster 19h35 Parc y Scarlets
Sun, 25 February 2018
Zebre v Cardiff Blues 13h00 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
London Irish v Worcester Warriors 13h00 Madejski Stadium
Saracens v Leicester Tigers 15h30 Allianz Park
Fri, 02 March 2018
Blues v Chiefs 06h35 Eden Park
Reds v Brumbies 09h00 Suncorp Stadium
Kings v Dragons 17h35 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Ulster v Glasgow Warriors 19h35 Kingspan Stadium
Edinburgh v Munster 19h35 Myreside
Cardiff Blues v Treviso 19h35 Cardiff Arms Park
Harlequins v Bath 19h45 Twickenham Stoop
Sat, 03 March 2018
Sunwolves v Rebels 22h00 Tokyo
Crusaders v Stormers 06h35 Christchurch
RESULT SCORE
Sat, 24 February 2018
Waratahs v Stormers 34 | 27
Crusaders v Chiefs 45 | 23
Sunwolves v Brumbies 25 | 32
Fri, 23 February 2018
France v Italy 34 | 17
Leinster v Kings 64 | 7
Dragons v Edinburgh 12 | 25
Munster v Glasgow Warriors 21 | 10
Rebels v Reds 45 | 19
Highlanders v Blues 41 | 34
Mon, 19 February 2018
NWU-Pukke v UJ 18 | 15
UCT-Ikeys v Shimlas 27 | 32
Maties v CUT-Ixias 75 | 12
NMMU-Madibaz v Wits 29 | 32
Sun, 18 February 2018
Dragons v Treviso 15 | 18
Wasps v Exeter Chiefs 13 | 7
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Rebels 1 1 0 0 5
Waratahs 1 1 0 0 4
Brumbies 1 1 0 0 4
Sunwolves 1 0 0 1 1
Reds 1 0 0 1 0
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 1 1 0 0 5
Highlanders 1 1 0 0 4
Blues 1 0 0 1 1
Hurricanes 0 0 0 0 0
Chiefs 1 0 0 1 0
Pool SA
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 2 1 0 1 5
Lions 1 1 0 0 4
Sharks 1 0 0 1 1
Bulls 0 0 0 0 0
Jaguares 1 0 0 1 0