Settled Brumbies eye four in a row against Chiefs
Cape Town - The Brumbies head to Waikato on Saturday to face the Chiefs hoping to make it four wins a row after beating the Bulls, Sunwolves and Hurricanes.
The last time that the club achieved four-in-a-row in Super Rugby was in 2016 when the Bulls, Rebels, Sunwolves and Reds were all defeated between May 8 and July 1.
Heading into the clash with the Chiefs, who sit third on the New Zealand Conference ladder, head coach Dan McKellar has made two changes from the side that defeated the Hurricanes at GIO Stadium with prop Nic Mayhew coming into the starting team to replace the injured Scott Sio while Allan Alaalatoa is restored to the side.
Mayhew played 65 minutes against the ‘Canes after replacing Sio, helping the Brumbies to maintain possession and remain competitive at the set-piece whilst adding physicality with his ball-carrying in the loose.
Alaalatoa has recovered from a knock sustained whilst on Wallabies duty during the June Test series against Ireland and will pack down in the front-row alongside Mayhew and last week’s man of the match, the livewire Folau Fainga’a.
Blake Enever and Rory Arnold, the latter of whom crossed for a try against the Hurricanes, continue at lock with David Pocock, Tom Cusack and Isi Naisarani rounding out an imposing pack that have been in great form in recent weeks.
There’s a settled look behind the scrum where Joe Powell and Christian Lealiifano fill the playmakers slots, joined alongside by Kyle Godwin and Tevita Kuridrani in midfield. The increasingly effective back three includes Henry Speight, Andrew Muirhead, who has three tries from his last three matches and Tom Banks.
McKellar makes two changes to the replacements bench with Alexander reverting to a finishers role and Lachlan McCaffrey sufficiently recovered from an injured back to be recalled in place of young Darcy Swain who signed a new contract with the club earlier this week.
15 Solomon Alaimalo, 14 Toni Pulu, 13 Sean Wainui, 12 Charlie Ngatai (co-captain), 11 Shaun Stevenson, 10 Damian McKenzie, 9 Brad Weber, 8 Liam Messam, 7 Sam Cane (co-captain), 6 Luke Jacobson, 5 Tyler Ardron, 4 Michael Allardice, 3 Angus Ta’avao, 2 Nathan Harris, 1 Karl Tu’inukuafe
Substitutes: 16 Samisoni Taukei’aho, 17 Sam Prattley, 18 Jeff Thwaites, 19 Jesse Parete, 20 Lachlan Boshier, 21 Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 22 Marty McKenzie, 23 Johnny Fa’auli
15 Tom Banks, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Kyle Godwin, 11 Andrew Muirhead, 10 Christian Lealiifano, 9 Joe Powell, 8 Isi Naisarani, 7 David Pocock, 6 Tom Cusack, 5 Blake Enever, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Folau Fainga’a, 1 Nic Mayhew
Substitutes: 16 Connal McInerney, 17 Ben Alexander, 18 Leslie Leuluaialii-Makin, 19 Richie Arnold, 20 Lachlan McCaffrey, 21 Matt Lucas, 22 Wharenui Hawera, 23 Lausii Taliauli