Plus500 Brumbies versus the Waratahs. Not much more needs to be said in truth. It’s Us versus Them. It’s the ACT versus New South Wales. It’s the Rebellion versus the Empire. Okay, maybe the last one is taking it one analogy too far, but you get the general drift. Either way you look at it, it’s the Derby Match they all want to win and it’s on at GIO Stadium.
STATE OF PLAY
Here are some stats for you. The Brumbies are currently, 2nd in tries scored (18), 1st in Maul tries (7), 4th in Line breaks and Defenders beaten and have completed 100% of our scrums, the only team to do so.
Yet, we have won just one of our four games to start the season. The point being, things are definitely heading in a positive direction for the Brumbies, and if we can put in an 80 minute performance against the ‘Tahs and win, we’ll also get back on track in the standings.
Injuries to Allan Alaalatoa and David Pocock sees Leslie Leuluaialii-Makin and Tom Cusack come in to the starting lineup. Irae Simone is back at inside centre, going up against his former club and Lausii Taliauli plays his fist game of the season on the left win. Otherwise, the Brumbies are unchanged in the starting group.
On the bench, there is a definite local flavour for this Aussie derby, with Daramalan College duo Tom Ross and Mack Hansen set to make their Brumbies debuts if they are required. Jordan Jackson-Hope, another Canberra product, is also included in the matchday 23 for the first time this season.
TEAM NEWS— Plus500 Brumbies (@BrumbiesRugby) March 13, 2019
Plus500 Brumbies name team to take on the 'Tahs! Local products Mack Hansen and Tom Ross make the matchday side for the first time!
>> https://t.co/WIXiTNC4S2#DefendBrumbiesCountry pic.twitter.com/kCCYzV2k6t
WORDS TO THE MEDIA
HEAD TO HEAD
Tom Banks v Israel Folau
It’s being billed as the master v the apprentice, two of Australia’s most potent attacking threats duelling. But this fullback battle will most likely be won in the air, and if Banks can hold up against Folau, it will be a big plus for the Brumbies chances of winning.
o The Brumbies have won four of their last five games against the NSW Waratahs, including a 40-31 triumph in their most recent meeting.
o Three of the Brumbies’ last five Super Rugby games at home have been won by the team trailing at half-time on the day, with the ACT club picking up three wins in that span.
o The NSW Waratahs have won six of their last seven Australian derbies in Super Rugby, despite having conceded an average of 26 points per game across that span.
o The Brumbies have scored 18 tries and 120 points in Super Rugby 2019, the second most of any team in the competition behind the Crusaders (23 tries, 141 points).
• Israel Folau (NSW Waratahs) is just one try shy of equalling Doug Howlett (59) as the most prolific try scorer in Super Rugby history; the NSW Waratahs’ flyer has scored five tries in his last three games away from home in the competition.