The Brumbies may have the toughest task of the Super Rugby qualifiers, but rival coach Michael Cheika predicts they’ll do well against South African conference winners the Stormers.
The Brumbies were forced to travel to Cape Town for their elimination clash after finishing sixth overall.
And they face a refreshed Stormers outfit who rested most of their leading players for their final round loss to the Sharks in Durban on Saturday when it was clear they couldn’t overtake the NSW Waratahs to claim a coveted top two spot.
But the Brumbies have shown in the recent past they can win in South Africa.
Just two years ago they won a semi-final in Pretoria against the Bulls. Last month they beat the Lions in Johannesburg, a week after suffering a cliff-hanger 25-24 loss to the Stormers.
On that day, Christian Lealiifano missed a conversion from in front near the end, allowing the Stormers to steal the victory.
“I think the Brumbies had a great game when they went there last time, I really do,” Waratahs coach Cheika said on Monday.
“They were a bit unlucky not to get the win.
“They are a team that’s been there before and travelled well in finals time and I think they will do very well down there.”
Cheika had no issues with the Stormers fielding a second-string side in last weekend’s 34-12 loss to the Sharks.
“There’s certainly nothing wrong with giving some of your (fringe) players a game, there’s no issue there at all,” Cheika said.
“There’s no right or wrong way of doing it. It’s just what you believe is right and then backing it to the hilt.
“Their (the Stormers) management has run a good campaign so far. They’ve won their conference and I think they are entitled to respect.”