You can sense the frustration coming from the Brumbies camp.
12 months ago, the Brumbies were being criticised for not being able to beat a New Zealand side. Now after beating their second Kiwi side at home, their form is being played down by commentators.
Former Brumbies and Wallabies lock Justin Harrison accused the Brumbies of playing “pedestrian” rugby after three of their four tries in their win over the Aukland Blues on Saturday night (4 May) were scored from rolling mauls.
The criticism seemed unwarranted after the club’s positive form over the last month, bringing home five points from two overseas games and beating the Blues to climb to equal points with the Melbourne Rebels in the Australian conference.
The side sits fourth in the competition for tries scored thanks to hooker Folau Fainga’a’s 10 tries from 11 games this season. So it is no surprise the message from coach Dan McKellar to his team is to ignore the haters.
“I love it when the forwards score,” Brumbies winger Toni Pulu said. “It’s hard to even get one maul try these days.
“That’s our strength this year and the backs are happy because our forwards are world-class players. Sometimes we get in there too so we are involved in those maul tries,” he said with a wide grin.
“We’re just happy to win. It doesn’t matter how we do it. As long as we end up scoring we’re happy. Nothing bothers us.”
Brumbies assistant coach Laurie Fisher was a little less diplomatic and slammed the critics via Twitter on Monday morning (6 May).
“Part of me wants to burr up over some of the half-arsed commentary about the style of our win on Saturday but my dominant feeling is F… them,” Fisher wrote.
Brumbies forward Murray Douglas said the Brumbies would be sticking to their strengths for the clash against the Sunwolves at GIO Stadium on Mother’s Day, even if that meant more maul tries.
“We went into Saturday night with a game plan that we wanted to use our maul quite a bit so it’s pleasing to get three tries out of it,” Douglas said.
“I’m a tight-five forward primarily so it’s always pleasing when you get over with a maul try, but that’s not to say we’re not capable of scoring elsewhere.”
“We go in every week with a game plan and teams have to play to their strengths and the maul has been a strength of ours this season.
“I wouldn’t say it’s boring rugby, it’s playing to our strengths and analysing opposition and seeing where you can score your points.”
Super Rugby Round 13
Brumbies vs Sunwolves
Kick off 4:05 pm, 12 May