Plus500 Brumbies head coach Dan McKellar has praised the efforts of his squad after defeating the Durban Sharks to get into the Super Rugby Semi-Finals.
The Brumbies combined a strong first half with an impressive run home in the second to beat the Sharks 38 – 13 at home, taking their seventh straight win in the process; a first in the club’s history.
McKellar spoke after the historic win, saying that the offensive and defensive packs worked hard together to seal the win and that there’s not much to change ahead of their semi-final against the Jaguares.
“I thought the first half was outstanding,” he said.
“We needed to get a really good start and get the crowd into the game, put them on the back foot early because we’ve got a lot of respect for them; they’re a dangerous side.
“Our first 40 minutes was right up there with what we’ve produced this year then we had to do a lot of defending in the second half; we’re defending well but we’d like to do less of it but at least when we have to, we’re defending well.
“I said to the players before the game that I think our defence is as good as we’ve defended since I’ve been at the club and we take a lot of confidence out of that.
"On the other side of it, our attacking opportunities come off the back of good defence so our game is in good shape.
“We won’t be nitpicking but there’s areas of our game where we can do better; there were times we were under pressure running out of our end tonight.
“I’ve watched all the games over the weekend, we’re not different to other teams; when you clear your end after scoring points effectively it takes pressure off so that’s probably an area we’ll focus on but we will also focus heavily on what we’re doing well.
”After performing well on the road as well as at home this season, McKellar says the tight-knit nature of the Brumbies squad is behind their ability to perform week-in, week-out.
“I’ve never seen a tighter group of footballers, there’s a special feel and you don’t get that very often within a team but when you have it, you’ve got to take advantage of it.
“I think we’re in that position at the moment; we’ve got confidence, belief and a group of blokes that love playing footy together and love wearing the jersey to represent our people.
“When you have that, special things can happen; I’m excited about next Friday night and what lies ahead.”
The Brumbies will be playing for a chance to compete in the Grand Final when they face the Jaguares in Buenos Aires next Saturday morning Australian time.
Words: Jordan Mulach