The Brumbies remain at home for the second straight week. This time they host the Melbourne Rebels in Saturday night.
Rebels came off a narrow loss v Reds last week in Round 2 23-21. Despite a great start with the defensive setup. Plus taking advantage of the disjointed attack in the first 40. Before Rebels were robbed in the last minute. With the Reds able to fix their middle ground after the half-time break.
While the Brumbies so far have back to back wins. They fired off during Round 1 over the Western Force in Perth. As well as a mammoth big score v NSW Waratahs last week at home. They hope to continue their attacking awareness on Saturday night. As this unit needs the defense to block the opposition final third. Where the Brumbies lost v Rebels last year. Even though it was held at a neutral venue.
This Brumbies side is unbeaten at the moment with just one change. As Scott Sio now back from a lengthy spell on the sidelines. Where he replaces James Slipper in the loosehead role. And joins skipper Allan Alaalatoa in the props.
With Connal McInerney as the starting hooker. Darcy Swain & Caderyn Neville in the second row. As well as Rob Valentini & Jahrome Brown as flanker. Before Pete Samu rounds out No.8 in this defense.
Nic White starts at half-back alongside No.10 Noah Lolesio. Mack Hansen on the left meeting opposite flank Andy Muirhead. Irae Simone & Len Ikitau in the centres. And Tom Banks at full-back.
Lachlan Longeran as 2nd choice hooker behind McInerney. Harry Lloyd & Tom Ross in the props. James Tucker covers for Swain or Neville. Tom Cusack for any flanker/No8. Ryan Longeran at back up half-back behind Nic White. Reejan Pasitoa looking to balance the workload with Lolesio. And Solomone Kata (backs).
Cabous Eloff & Pone Faamausili in the props. With James Hanson replacing Jordan Uelese over a hand injury. Ross Haylett-Petty replaces Steve Cummins in the 2nd row. Joining him is Trevor Hosea.
Brad Wilkin replaced by Josh Kemeny who impressed in limited minutes. After he came on v Reds last week. Richard Hardwick at openside flanker. With Michael Wells rounds their defensive 8.
Joe Powell & Matt Toomua stays at scrum-half & fly-half. Marika Koroibete on the left wing. Alongside Lachie Anderson on the other flank. Reece Hodge & Stacey Ili playing centrally. And Tom Pincus backing them up in the full-back position.
Ed Craig hopes to impress in limited minutes as hooker. Issac Aedo Kailea & Argentine Lucio Sordoni in the 2nd choice props. Steve Cummins waiting at lock/second row. Robert Leota as reserve flanker/No8. Frank Lomani & Glen Vaihu looking to have fresh legs anywhere at the back. With still no backup half-back yet.
The intensity has gone through the roof now. Especially with the Brumbies have two close games ahead. First up the Rebels who beat them one time last year.
Need their defenders to block out these Rebels attacking chances. So their guys at the back can show their magic. That will be one way to make 3 straight wins.
For the Rebels they done well in defense last week. Especially when they read the Reds poor first 40 run. In which helped them fire off against them. And almost turned up as winners for the majority.
But they got wiped out that late in the end. Where the Rebels was not able to score tries that much. The penalties are there with Matt Toomua have the experience at No.10. So does Reece Hodge from long range. Just need that executions right expected from this backline. It can be the recipe for success.
It will not be an easy contest for sure between 1st v 3rd best. But Brumbies would still come on top by 12 points.