If the performance on the weekend is anything to go by, then 2013 is going to a big year for the University of Canberra Brumbies back-rowers Peter Kimlin and Fotu Aulua.
The pair were instrumental in securing the Brumbies first victory over the Queensland Reds since 2011 with an impressive performance at Canberra Stadium on Saturday night.
The Brumbies forward pack out-muscled their Reds counterparts in every aspect of the game to produce a well deserved first round victory.
Peter Kimlin played a pivotal role in the No 6 jersey and hopes the side can continue the good form against the Melbourne Rebels on Friday night.
“The guys are really confident coming of the weekend but we don’t want too get too far ahead of ourselves going into the next game” Kimlin said.
“It’s obviously going to be another step up against the Rebels on Friday night who have always been a tough team to handle."
Friday night shapes up to be another exciting back-row battle with Kimlin looking forward to playing against former Reds and now Rebels No. 8 Scott Higginbotham.
“It should be good lining up against Higginbotham, the Rebels are a quality side and obviously with the signing of Scott it’s going to be another challenge” Kimlin said.
After crafting a reputation as a hard man in his first year at club thanks to his bone-crunching tackles and impact from the bench, Fotu Auelua again put in a solid performance coming off the pine on Saturday night.
Auelua played 29 minutes in the victory over the Reds and was pleased with the way the Brumbies forwards were able to keep the Reds possession to a minimum.
“The talk all week was to really bully them around the breakdown area, I think we succeeded in that” Auelua said.
“We have to approach every game with the same mentality that we did against the Reds, knowing that it is going to be a big physical battle up front”.
While Auleau understands that there is no easy way into the starting line up with the likes of Ben Mowen and David Pocock in the side, he does believe that he is fitter and in better shape this year.
“I definately feel fitter this year as opposed to last year. I didn’t really get the pre-season that the other boys did last year, so this year I do feel a lot fitter and more confident” Auelua said.
With the likes of Peter Kimlin, Colby Faingaa, Jordan Smiler and Fotu himself all chasing the starting back-row spots, Auelua believes that the competition for positions is very strong around the club.
“There is defiantly a great competition for positions in the back row and I think that is the beauty of this team that there is a lot of competition everywhere” Auelua said.
“I don’t have a preference where I play in the back row as long as I have a big impact on the game with ball in hand and are able to make some tackles”.
Saturday night was the first time that both Kimlin and Auelua played alongside Wallabies Captain and new Brumbies recruit David Pocock.
Pocock played a standout role in his first hit out for the side.
He showcased his skill-set to steal the ball and dominate his opposite No. 7, an ability that was praised by both Kimlin and Auelua.
“It’s the thing about great No. 7’s like David, you don’t really notice them on the field because they are just everywhere, he is pretty similar to George Smith in that way” Kimlin said.
“He is awesome. He is a world class player and he has given the side a lot of confidence since joining the club” Auelua said.
The University of Canberra Brumbies play the Melbourne Rebels this Friday night at AAMI Park in Melbourne with kick off at 7.40pm.