Brumbies welcome the return of Valetini – and the weather – as they aim for Super Rugby Pacific semi-final victory

The Brumbies are the only Australian side left in the semi-finals of Super Rugby Pacific this weekend, and they believe a combination of recent achievements – including their 35-25 quarter-final win over the Hurricanes in Canberra – will serve them well. will come.

They will face the Blues in Auckland on Saturday, after knocking out the Highlanders 35-6 at Eden Park.

After finishing the regular season first, the Blues will retain hosting rights to the finals as long as they keep winning.

Meanwhile, the second-seeded Crusaders will host the third-seeded Chiefs in Christchurch on Friday night, after the Crusaders beat the Queensland Reds to progress with a 37-15 win, and the Chiefs blew the NSW Waratahs away in a dominant first half , going to win 39-15.

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The top four teams on the table all went on to win until the second week of the final, and defense was the common denominator.

As a sign of how the competition tightened in the closing stages, the average number of tries per game went from more than eight tries in round 14 to exactly seven tries per game in round 15, then again to six tries per game in the quarter-final. last weekend.

The Brumbies are now flying the flag for Australia, something they can do with confidence after taking full control of how the game was played throughout the second half within seconds of beating the Blues in Canberra in Round 14.

They repeated this exact pattern on Saturday, regaining control of both the game and the scoreboard from the Hurricanes after halftime and winning well.

And while they welcome the damaging backrower Rob Valetini – one of the most form players in the league before he injured a hamstring a month ago – Mother Nature might have given them a timely advantage yet.

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The weather in the nation’s capital leading up to the Hurricanes game has been cold and wet all past week and continues this week. And while the sun is shining in Auckland for the first few days of the week, next Friday and the weekend, the forecast for dropping temperatures and puffer jackets is at the ready.

As for being ready for the conditions and preparing accordingly, the Brumbies couldn’t be more acclimatized than they will be at kick-off on Saturday night.

“It probably won’t be that cold there, but it will be windy and a bit wet. We didn’t mind training in the same conditions last week, and we trained and played well, so I think it’s good preparation for us,” said Brumbies senior assistant coach Laurie Fisher this week in Canberra.

The Brumbies have essentially played finals football for the past month, with the consistent pattern of low possession and heavy defensive effort required in each of their last four games.

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