University of Canberra Brumbies prop Ben Alexander is confident the side will recover and be fully fit to face the Chiefs in the Super Rugby final this Saturday night, despite traveling over 20,000km in the last three weeks.
The ACT-based side arrived back in the capital on Monday night sore, battered and bruised after their extremely physical but outstanding 26-23 semi final victory over the Bulls in Pretoria.
The win was one of the most gutsy and courageous performances in Brumby history, with the side handling the frantic pace and the daunting 37,000 passionate Bulls fans at Loftus Versfeld, to snatch the victory in the dying minutes thanks to a Tevita Kurindrani try.
But despite the intensity of the match and the grueling 14 hour plane trip home, Alexander is confident that the side will be ready and prepared come Saturday night.
“I was definitely really sore and banged up after the game because the Bulls are a big physical side, so the body was very sore,” Alexander said.
“But as a group we have a lot of experience on how to recover properly so as soon as the game was over we were already in recovery mode.
“The guys are still recovering and trying to build the energy levels back up this week, so we are ready to making the trip over to New Zealand for the final.”
With titles in 2001 and 2004, the Brumbies will head to Hamilton on Thursday confident of adding another trophy to that list and becoming the second most successful Super Rugby club of all time.
The club under coach Jake White has turned around a disappointing nine year period which saw the club miss the finals each season, before finally breaking their finals drought this year when they finished top of the Australian Conference.
A title will cap of an incredible two year period for the side after only coming together as a playing roster after the disastrous 2011 season which saw the club endure one of it’s worst Super Rugby season’s, finishing third last on the table.
Alexander remains one of only a handful of players left on the Brumbies team-sheet from 2011 and believes the thought of representing the ACT in a Grand Final is a dream come true after growing up following the side.
"Even when I lived in Sydney playing my schoolboy rugby, I use to always watch Brumbies games and never the Waratahs,” Alexander said.
“I am just so excited to finally get an opportunity to win a title and because I haven’t played in a final, it’s probably the biggest game of my career.
“The Chiefs are an unbelievable side, they are the reigning champs and we are going to have to go over their in the wet and in front of all their fans and try and get the job done.
“I am confident if we just stick to what has been working for us, we should get the result we are after.”
The University of Canberra Brumbies face the Chiefs this Saturday night in the Super Rugby Grand Final in Hamilton, with kick off at 5.30pm AEST.