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Quarter-final rugby comes to Canberra as the Brumbies host the Sharks. Join The Roar from 8:05pm AEST for this knockout clash.
And then there was eight. Just eight teams left in the competition vying for the title.
Australia’s best team in the competition and its only representative left, the Brumbies, up against the second-best side from South Africa, the Sharks.
After finishing third overall and being on home turf, the Brumbies will be feeling confident. They have been in good form and have won their past six games in row.
The club has won eight of its past nine fixtures, but has never won seven on the bounce. Winning breeds confidence.
The men from ACT have a strong forward pack, some bruising outside backs and a good spine in key positions. Henry Speight, Tom Cusack, Tonu Pulu and Pete Samu were rested last weekend and come back into the squad refreshed.
The Brumbies and the Sharks did not play each during the regular season, but the Brumbies did win all three of its games against South African opposition. That could be telling.
The Sharks had a mixed record against Aussie sides this year and only scraped into the semi-finals.
The Durban outfit has Curwin Bosch returning at fullback as their only change.
A lot will rest on Bosch, playmaker Robert du Preez and skipper Louis Schreuder.
In the past the Sharks have lost all five of their last playoff matches away from home.
All signs point to a Brumbies win. If they can keep the discipline, and remain focused, they should be too strong for the Sharks.
Brumbies to win by nine.
When: 8:05pm AEST
Where: Canberra Stadium, ACT
TV: Fox Sports
Betting: Brumbies $1.40, Draw $23, Sharks $2.05
Tom Banks, Henry Speight, Tevita Kuridrani, Irae Simone, Toni Pulu, Christian Lealiifano (c), Joe Powell, Pete Samu, Tom Cusack, Rob Valetini, Sam Carter, Rory Arnold, Scott Sio, Folau Faingaa, Allan Alaalatoa
Reserves: Connal McInnerney, James Slipper, Les Makin, Darcy Swain, Lachy McCaffrey, Jahrome Brown, Matt Lucas, Tom Wright
Curwin Bosch, Sbu Nkosi, Lukhanyo Am, Andre Esterhuizen, Makazole Mapimpi, Robert du Preez, Louis Schreuder (c), Daniel du Preez, Tyler Paul, Jacques Vermuelen, Hyron Andrews, Ruben van Heerden, Coenie Oosthuizen, Kerron van Vuuren, Mzamo Majola
Reserves: Cullen Collopy, Juan Schoeman, Thomas du Toit, Gideon Koegelenberg, Luke Stringer, Cameron Wright, Jeremy Ward, Rhyno Smith