Brumbies cul­ture the key to up­set

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - JAMIE PAN­DARAM

BRUMBIES skip­per Sam Carter says his side will use their his­tory of big game boilovers to pull off one of the great upsets on Fri­day in their quar­ter- fi­nal against the Hur­ri­canes, while Chris­tian Leali­ifano is in line to make a re­turn to the squad.

Can­berra will host the first quar­ter- fi­nal of 2017 with the Brumbies play­ing the de­fend­ing cham­pion Hur­ri­canes, and at­tempt­ing to be­come the first Aus­tralian team this year to de­feat a Kiwi ri­val.

“We haven’t spo­ken about not beat­ing a Kiwi side this year, the last time we did coin­ci­den­tally hap­pened to be against the Hur­ri­canes,” Carter said.

“But that’s not some­thing we will talk about ei­ther.

“It’s a good chance for us, any­time we get to play fi­nals footy we get pretty ex­cited and it brings out the best in us.

“We’ve seen that be­fore, we’ve had a cou­ple of those mo­ments, we won in Pre­to­ria in 2013, went to Hamil­ton the next year ( and nar­rowly lost the Su­per Rugby fi­nal to the Chiefs), we’ve had three other fi­nals. “This is a big game for us.” And it could be a huge one if Carter’s co- cap­tain Chris­tian Leali­ifano, who was di­ag­nosed with leukaemia last year, makes his first Su­per Rugby ap­pear­ance in the play­off.

“He was very close the last cou­ple of weeks, so I am hope­ful he will be in the squad,” Carter said. “We won’t know for an­other cou­ple of days.”

Carter and fel­low Wal­la­bies Al­lan Alaala­toa, Rory Arnold and Joe Pow­ell, as well as flanker Chris Al­cock, are all ex­pected to re­turn for the Brumbies af­ter be­ing rested from last Satur­day’s 28- 10 loss to the Chiefs.

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