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University of Canberra Brumbies forward Scott Fardy is adamant that the side will perform on Friday night when they take on the improving Melbourne Rebels, despite missing five players due to Wallaby selection.
The ACT-based side will head into the crucial clash without star players Ben Alexander, Stephen Moore, Ben Mowen, Christian Lealiifano and Joe Tomane, meaning the side will lose a combined total of 369 Super Rugby caps for the match.
But despite the loss of experience, Fardy remains confident that the young Brumbies will fill their shoes perfectly and help the side step one step closer to their first finals series since 2004.
“We have a lot of leadership within the team and everyone knows their role pretty well here and we are a well structured side so there shouldn’t be any problems on Friday night,” Fardy said.
“We have guys like Siliva Siliva who will come in and do a great job for us and we obviously already have an ex-Wallaby in Clyde Rathbone who will also come in.
“We have been practicing the same set piece styles and plays for a long time so the boys are fairly comfortable in their roles.”
Friday night’s match with the Rebels is shaping as a season defining game for the ACT, with a win likely to put the Brumbies in the box seat to take out the Australian Conference going into the final round, while a loss could well leave the door open for second placed Queensland to snatch top spot.
It’s a scenario that Brumbies fans are all too aware of having witnessed the side lead the conference for the majority of the 2012 season before being bundled out of the finals race in the last round when a loss to the Auckland Blues saw the Reds leap frog the side into first place.
But having felt firsthand the agony of missing the finals last year, Fardy is determined to get the result on Friday night.
“We are completely focused on this week and we are really focused on Friday night and what we have to do there,” Fardy said.
“It’s just another week for us, we can’t look too far ahead. We just really need to secure the win.
“The Rebels showed that they have a lot of grit in them and they played some great footy on the weekend and pushed the Reds all the way, so they will be a very difficult prospect on Friday.”
The University of Canberra Brumbies face the Melbourne Rebels this Friday night at Canberra Stadium, with kick off at 7.40pm.