A week after the Brumbies-Reds Super Rugby AU fans of both rugby codes got the chance to watch NRL powerhouses South Sydney Rabbitohs and Sydney Roosters in what should have been a titanic Round 20 match-up.
Having sat back and watched the Queensland Reds and Melbourne Rebels go into battle for a place in Saturday’s Super Rugby AU final, the Brumbies are primed for a slice of the action.
They will host the Reds at GIO Stadium on Saturday night in the first decider in Canberra since the Brumbies beat the Crusaders 47-28 in 2004.
The Brumbies earned a weekend off after topping the regular season ladder, while the Reds eliminated the Rebels in a brutal match that resulted in a number of casualties, including star Queensland centre Jordan Petaia.
The young gun was forced off with a head knock but is expected to take his place in the final while winger Chris Feauai-Sautia is in doubt with a groin injury.
Brumbies fullback Tom Banks said they took the weekend off to freshen up but kept an eye on the Reds game.
“It was a really physical battle and the Reds played really well,” Banks said on Monday.
“It was good to have the weekend off to get away from footy and now we’ve start a good week of prep to fine-tune a few things and really come into the game firing.”
The teams met in the final round, although it was effectively a dead rubber with both assured of their place in the playoffs.
The Reds outplayed the Brumbies 26-7 to level their head-to-head after they were pipped 22-20 in round five, courtesy of a penalty kick by the Brumbies’ Mack Hansen after fulltime.
“It all comes back to us this week,” Banks, who was one of 13 Brumbies included the Wallabies squad on Sunday, said.
“We know we didn’t do too well against them last time and we know what we need to improve on.”