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20 Mar 2018 16:42
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  •   Home > News > Sports > Rugby

    Brumbies ignoring poor trans-Tasman record

    The Brumbies will aim to end New Zealand Super Rugby teams' domination of Australian sides in their quarter-final against the Hurricanes.

    The statistics are damning, but the Brumbies insist Australia's diabolical trans-Tasman Super Rugby record is irrelevant ahead of their quarter-final against the Hurricanes.

    Kiwi sides won all 25 regular season matches against Australian opponents, with the Chiefs completing the rout by beating a second-string Brumbies in Hamilton on Saturday.

    The Brumbies weren't disgraced in the 28-10 defeat and have a host of stars set to return for the sudden-death final after resting players for the dead rubber.

    The Hurricanes became the only team to defeat New Zealand conference champions the Crusaders with a 31-22 win in Wellington.

    That booked their place in Friday night's playoff in Canberra, where the Brumbies will aim to be the first Australian team to defeat a Kiwi team since May last year.

    "Regardless of what's happened in the past, that's not going to affect us," Brumbies hooker Robbie Abel told AAP.

    "I think for us, that couldn't further in the back of our minds.

    "We've really been focusing on us and focused on winning."

    Veteran flanker Scott Fardy claimed to be unaware of the Kiwi domination when asked about the statistic.

    Incidentally, the Hurricanes were the last New Zealand team the Brumbies beat, but 511 days will have passed since round one, 2016 when the two sides run on to GIO Stadium.

    Co-captain Sam Carter and fellow Wallabies forwards Scott Sio, Allan Alaalatoa and Rory Arnold are expected to start, while Jordan Smiler and Chris Alcock are also set to return to the XV.

    Halfback Joe Powell is likely to relegate Argentina No. 9 Tomas Cubelli to the bench, after a breakout year in the Argentinian's injury-enforced absence.

    Exciting young fullback Tom Banks is set to return to the starting backline along with Wallabies centre Tevita Kuridrani, but Kyle Godwin and Aidan Toua's season is over after suffering injuries in the loss to the Queensland Reds.

    Star flyhalf Christian Lealiifano could be a wildcard selection, less than a year after being diagnosed with leukaemia.

    After starting against the Chiefs, Abel is likely to return to the bench in favour of veteran Josh Mann-Rea who has been the first-choice hooker this season.

    "It's more about the bigger picture and whatever's best for the team. Whatever that is, it's the coach's call and we'll take it as it comes," Abel said.


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