Coach Stephen Larkham believes the Brumbies have put themselves in the position to end a 12-year drought and win a Super Rugby title.
The Canberra-based side returned to the top of the Australian conference on Saturday night with an emphathic 66-5 bonus-point win over Japan’s Sunwolves at GIO Stadium.
It was their highest winning margin since they beat the Lions 64-0 in 2000 and the most points they have scored in a game since toppling the Lions again 68-28 four years later.
The Brumbies now sit equal on points (34) with the NSW Waratahs but with one more victory and better points differential heading into the month-long international break.
“We can be very happy with where we are at the moment,” Larkham said.
Both the Brumbies and Tahs have 10 players in the Wallabies training squad, many of whom will go on to play a part in the three-Test series against England starting June 11.
The Brumbies, champions in 2004, return home on July 1 to play the Queensland Reds, while NSW have to travel to Japan to face the Sunwolves.
Larkham admitted it will be difficult to come back with so many stars in the Wallabies side.
“But once the boys come back in there’ll be a big focus on finishing off this tourmament because we’ve put ourselves in a position now where we can win it,” he said.
“We needed to win some games and we needed opposition teams to lose some games, and that happened last week with the Waratahs (losing to the Crusaders).
“It’s a simple equation now: we win the next three games, we’ve given ourselves every chance of winning this.”
Larkham said the Brumbies had played more top-eight sides in the competition than any other team so far this season, and started the year off with six games in a row – three of which were on the road.
They won four of those, but some big mid-season losses saw them slip down the ladder.
Their run home is a bit easier, though, with the Reds match followed by the Blues in Auckland and Western Force back in Canberra.
While Larkham knows there’s a risk of injury to some of his Wallabies playing in the Tests, he takes solace in knowing Matt Toomua (knee), Joe Tomane (knee) and Andrew Smith (foot) are still to return from injury.
“Whether those guys play in the Test series or not, it’ll certainly add a little bit of energy to the squad knowing that they’re coming back for the last three games of the season,” he said.