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University of Canberra Brumbies hooker Stephen Moore believes the Queensland Reds will be a completely different beast on Saturday night, than the one they faced in round one.
The Reds are proving to be the form team of the competition with six wins from their last seven games, including Saturday night’s upset win over the Chiefs in Hamilton, leaving them just two points adrift of the Brumbies.
While Moore is looking forward to the challenge, he does expect the Queenslanders to pose a considerably bigger threat to the Brumbies than the side that went down 24-6 in Canberra earlier this year.
“You can’t take much out of that first round, a lot has happened since then and they play well at home and have a proud record there,” Moore said.
“They had a great win last week, I thought they played really well in Hamilton.
“They won the championship in 2011, and made the finals last year, so they are a really good team.
“It’s up to us to go up there and win it, they are not going to give it away.”
Due to the Reds good form and the increasing interest in the recent rivalry, a crowd of over 40,000 is expected to roll through the gates at Suncorp Stadium, adding more pressure to both teams.
Despite this, Moore is confident that the Brumbies who sit on top of the Super Rugby table with six wins from eight games, can overcome the crowd and get the job done.
“We have had a good start to the season and we have got to build on it and Saturday is a big part of that,” Moore said.
“I thought what we did last week was improved on the Kings performance, so if we can build on that again that will be pleasing.
“I think the game has developed into a rivalry and I think thats a great thing for Australian rugby with both teams going well.”
While Moore acknowledges a win over the high-flying Reds will give the Brumbies a more than handy lead on top of the Australian conference and the overall standings, he does believe the ACT side still has a long way to go in the season and a lot to improve on.
“ We have it all ahead of us, we haven’t achieved anything yet that we want to achieve as a group,” Moore said.
“ There’s always areas that we want to work on and we are going to have to be good right across the board to win on Saturday.
“It’s going to be small margins on Saturday and we have to make sure we are on the right side of those.”
With both sides naming strong teams, Moore is looking forward to the fierce battle in the forward pack and expects an aggressive contest after the Reds demolished their Chief counterparts on Saturday night.
Moore is also expecting a physical battle in the back line, with Reds and Wallaby winger Digby Ioane selected to go toe to toe with in-form Brumbies flyer Henry Speight.
“Digby is a very good player and will be a good welcomed return to their side,” Moore said.
“From Henry’s perspective he has had a really good start to the season and has been outstanding for us.
“I am really looking forward to that match up.”
The University of Canberra Brumbies face the Queensland Reds this Saturday night at Suncorp Stadium, with kick off at 7.40pm.