Sydney — The Brumbies have taken the longer route to this weekend’s Super Rugby AU grand final, but head coach Dan McKellar believes the challenges faced along the way will prepare his players for the tough task they face against the Reds.
McKellar’s side saw off a short-handed Western Force on Saturday with a 21-9 semifinal win after Toni Pulu’s first-half red card to set up the clash with Brad Thorn’s team at Brisbane Stadium on Saturday.
“You never get bored of it, really pleased,” McKellar said of his team’s progress to the grand final. “There’s been a few grinds over the last few weeks. It prepares you well. I think the opposition next week are very different to what we’ve faced against the Rebels … and then the Force.
“The Force didn’t look like scoring a try tonight. I’ve got a lot of confidence in our defence. We know we’ll need to defend well against the Reds to shut down their individual threats and their offload game. We’ll take a lot of confidence out of tonight.”
This will be the second year in a row the Brumbies and Reds have faced off in the grand final after the Queenslanders qualified directly for this year’s decider by topping the regular season standings.
The Brumbies won last September’s final 28-23 and McKellar is relishing the rematch.
“It will be enormous,” he said. “We’ll enjoy this one more than last year, without a doubt, just because we’ve got a lot of respect for the opposition and we understand the challenge that is ahead of us.
“It’ll be incredibly rewarding to the group and the players and the staff and we focus on that now. We’ll recover well and review thoroughly and put in place a strategy and some tactics that we think will go up there and get the job done.”
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