The Brumbies admit they will have to be patient and be prepared to grind out a win against the Melbourne Rebels at GIO Stadium on Saturday night.
The Rebels rank first among Super Rugby teams for number of rucks won per game, and Brumbies assistant coach Dan McKellar says it’s a fair indication of how the game will be played.
“They hold the ball well and they put pressure on you when you’ve got the ball,” McKellar said.
“Our connection with the breakdown needs to be spot on, and it has been; our breakdown work has been really good.
“We’ve just got to do what we do well there and that will nullify the threats that they bring.”
Though they’ve been able to control the ruck well, the Rebels have tended to fade out in games, letting in 11 of the 18 tries they’ve conceded in 2015 in the second half, which suits the Brumbies.
“Our game is built on being patient and grinding out wins,” McKellar said.
“That’s our aim, to get off to a really good start and get into the grind and just be patient until the opportunities come, and then be disciplined with the football.”
Having fielded an unchanged side for the first month of the competition, the Brumbies have been forced into a number of changes.
Michael Dowsett is set for his starting debut with White ruled out with an ankle injury.
Wallabies scrumhalf Nic White was set to “freshened up” with a bench role but his place will now be taken by Super Rugby debutant Joe Powell.
Christian Lealiifano has replaced injured five-eighth Matt Toomua, while JP Smith comes in for injured prop Scott Sio.
Melbourne coach Tony McGahan has kept faith in the side that beat the Queensland Reds two weeks ago, naming an unchanged lineup for their first match after the bye.
Meanwhile, Rebels centre Mitch Inman has signed a new two-year deal with the club.
The 105kg centre, who will make his 70th Super appearance against the Brumbies, said he didn’t consider leaving Melbourne.
“There was no need to talk to any other club,” Inman said.
“I believe that the Rebels are improving out of sight and I want to be part of the success down here in Melbourne.”