Brumbies to get ‘one back’ on Hurricanes

The Brumbies haven’t forgotten the pain of being denied a crack at the Super Rugby title by the Hurricanes last year.

But they’re sticking to their mantra that with a new season comes new opportunities.

The two sides kick-off the 2016 campaign at GIO Stadium on Friday in a rematch of last year’s semi-final.

The Hurricanes were 29-9 victors when they met in June to earn a place in the final, which they ultimately lost to the Highlanders.

It was the second year in a row the Brumbies had been knocked at the semi-final stage.

And the defeat still sits in the back of lock Rory Arnold’s mind “a little bit”.

“But that was last year,” the 2015 Super Rugby rookie of the year said on Wednesday.

“As much as it was disappointing losing to them in the semi, we’ve put that behind us and moved forward.

“It’s a new year, so we’ll just look at getting one back on them.”

The Hurricanes will field a new-look side for the round one clash, naming five debutants in the absence of greats Ma’a Nonu and Conrad Smith.

They are also likely to be without star hooker Dane Coles who picked up a calf injury in training on Wednesday.

But Arnold doesn’t reckon their style will change too much.

“They’re a very good attacking team and they love to offload, so that’s one thing we’ve got to be very good at shutting down on Friday night,” he said.

The 25-year-old is entering his second season at the Brumbies and is keen to take a more relaxed approach to Super Rugby.

Even though he managed to pump out some solid performances, he admits he was very nervous leading into games last year.

“I need to control those nerves and not let them ruin my prep for the game,” he said.

Despite the looming departure of Wallabies skipper Stephen Moore, Matt Toomua, Joe Tomane and potentially David Pocock, Arnold said there was a good vibe at the Canberra club.

“We’re all very excited,” he added.

“It’s a long pre-season, we’ve done the hard yards and now we’re just looking forward to getting out there and putting what we’ve learnt into practice.”

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