Preview: Plus500 Brumbies v Bulls

by Brumbies Media

The situation is now clear; if the Plus500 Brumbies win their next four games we will be back in the Super Rugby playoffs. 

Sure, bonus-points may come in to play or head to head records, but thanks to an excellent mid-season run of form, the Brumbies are now in pole position, atop the Aussie conference heading into tomorrow night's showdown against the Bulls. 

Home comforts have been the catalyst for the Brumbies push for the postseason, Australia's most successful side going five from five in their last fistful of dates at GIO Stadium.

Tomorrow night may be the toughest test so far. The Bulls are riding a wave of confidence right now, and have a pack that can hang with the Brumbies unit.

It's going to be a fascinating battle, and in a game where much of the attention will probably go to the forwards, it may be the backlines who decide it. 

Expect parity up front. The Brumbies have dominated a few quality packs at GIO, but the Bulls won't be dominated (should say probably not, this Brumbies pack is the best in Super Rugby right now), and they'll relish the chance to come in to Canberra and flex their considerable muscle. 

Temperatures are dropping, but that's when we get tough in Brumbies country! Fortress GIO could be the 24th man the Brumbies need to turn this fantastic 2019 fightback into a championship season. Get your tickets for the game here.

Team News

Rory Arnold's return couldn't come at a better time! The Brumbies biggest timber will look to combat RG Snyman, one of the best emerging talents in the world.

Rob Valentini is also back in the matchday squad, and could provide some much needed ball carry punch in the latter stages. 

Valetini is part of a six forward two back split for the Brumbies bench, which should tell you everything you need to know about how Dan McKellar expects things to go.

On the other side of the touchline, the Bulls were rocked midweek with the loss of Handre Pollard. Arguable the competition's in-form flyhalf, Pollard was forced to return to the Republic due to injury.

It would be silly to go so far to say that sends the scouting report out the window, but Pollard is the centrifugal force for the Bulls attack, and without him they may look to utilise their outside backs earlier in the phases and play from deep. 

Spotlight: Scott Sio

Let's just take a second here, to really celebrate how good Scotty Sio is!

This week, Sio re-signed with the Brumbies for three extra years so now is a perfect time to highlight his 2019 season. 

He's been a staple for the Brumbies for so many years now, sometimes we forget the impact a player of Sio is having week in week out.

With James Slipper's arrival this season, we've been able to see the best version of Sio, both because of the competition for the starting jersey but also because he's been fresh, not having to carry the loose-head burden on his own. 

The setpiece work and defence have always been there for Sio, but this season we've seen him get his hands on the ball more often, particularly these last couple of weeks which is great to see if you're a Brumbies and a Wallabies fan. 

Head To Head: Rory Arnold v RG Snyman

Matchday Lowdown: Indigenous Round

There's plenty to see and do at GIO Stadium this weekend!

As we recognise Indigenous Round this week we have several Indigenous related activities taking place on throughout the evening ahead of the kick-off against the Bulls. 

Dale & The River Bank Band

Playing in the West precinct before the match, Dale and the River Bank Band established their music career in Canberra 1994 a blend of songs about Aboriginal culture mixed with some country rock and sweet harmonies.

Dale and the River Bank Band have supported the likes of Jessica Maubouy, Blue King Brown, Casey Donnovan, Yothu Yindi, Russell Morris, Shane Howard & the Goanna Band, Jimmy Little, Archie Roach and Troy Cassar Daley and have performed gigs and festivals across the country.

Smoke Ceremony & Welcome to Country

A smoke ceremony is an ancient aboriginal custom in Australia that involves burning various native plants to produce smoke, which has cleansing properties and the ability to ward off bad spirits from the people and the land and make pathway for a brighter future.

Welcome to Country is a ceremony performed by Indigenous Australian Elders to welcome visitors to their traditional land.

Both will be performed pre-match. Yukkumbruk Dreaming Dance Group Dancers from the Yukkumbruk Dreaming Dance Group will accompany the pre-match Smoke Ceremony on the pitch.

Indigenous Marathon Foundation

As part of today's Gameday Charity, the Indigenous Marathon Foundation will welcome 12 athletes onto the field for introductions.

The Foundation is a health promotion charity that uses running to celebrate Indigenous resilience and achievement and create inspirational Indigenous leaders.

Half-time: Buroinjin

Stick around at half-time and catch the demonstration of Buroinjin, a ball game played by the Kabi Kabi people of southern Queensland.

The game was played with a ball made of kangaroo skin which was called a buroinjin. Spectators used to mark their applause by calling out 'Ei, ei'.

This is a running and ball passing game. The aim is for a player of one team to run with the buroinjin (ball) and fully cross over the score line at the other end of the field to score a touchdown.

The game is started and restarted after a touchdown with a pass by a team from behind their own score line - halfway for younger players. Play to four touches before possession changes.