6 March 2024

More than ever, the Brumbies need to win and we need to be there to watch the victory laps

| Tim Gavel
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The Brumbies jersey of Sefo Kautai at AAMI Park. Photo: Brumbies Facebook.

The Brumbies jersey of Sefo Kautai at AAMI Park for the game against the Chiefs. Photo: Brumbies Facebook.

In rugby land, plenty of individuals are ready to deliver the last rites to the Brumbies.

Thankfully, the Brumbies have repelled this (apparent) imminent doom with reports of the club’s demise greatly exaggerated.

That’s not to say their long-term future is 100 per cent secure beyond the 2025 season. The Brumbies are locked in to play the British and Irish Lions on 9 July 2025, so it’s assumed they will be playing until then.

Mind you, the Lions are also scheduled to play the Rebels in 2025, but that is unlikely, with the Rebels seemingly gone beyond this season.

That hasn’t stopped some of the so-called pundits from predicting the culling won’t stop with the Rebels and may extend to the Brumbies, with the club’s financial position deemed a determining factor.

This is a factor that can’t be dismissed, given Rugby Australia’s well-documented funding issues.

To put speculation to bed, at least for now, the Brumbies need good home crowds at GIO Stadium and they need to win games.

Last weekend’s 46-12 loss to the Chiefs didn’t help things, but they have the opportunity to return to normal service this Saturday when they face the Western Force, a club well aware of the threat of extinction, having risen from the ashes in 2020 after being cut from the competition in 2017.

Any chink in the armour you can imagine will be declared a sign of weakness by those seemingly campaigning for the Brumbies’ departure.

This means the Brumbies must average over 10,000 fans a game to financially break even at GIO. This will be no mean feat given the draw, which features home games against the Force, Moana Pasifika, Waratahs, Hurricanes, Fiji, Crusaders and the Rebels.

There are potential blockbusters with the Waratahs, Hurricanes and Crusaders, and these games should draw decent crowds.

On the field, the Brumbies will need to make the finals to at least have some ammunition to ward off speculation about their future.

Hence the importance of this weekend’s game against the Western Force. It will be a game that they must win and win well.

It is vital the Brumbies set the tempo on and off the field. A dominant performance against the Force in front of a healthy home crowd will create momentum that needs to be maintained throughout the season.

The ACT Brumbies’ season opener will be played against the Western Force on Saturday (9 March) at GIO Stadium. Kickoff is at 2:35 pm.

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One of the reasons that no one is interested in “super’ Rugby is that it’s just not ‘Super’. Watching endless kicks at goal and scrum resets with 30 players on a field that is crowded with the NRL’s 26. Unless you are a Canberra resident of Polynesian or Maori extraction or went to the odd Private School that temporarily still has Rugby Union you would be hard pressed to name a single Brumbie. Even if you asked what the Brumbies are your most common response would centre on the alpine culling controversy rather than a sporting team involved in a dying niche sport. The administration of Australian Rugby makes the Australian soccer’s Football Australia look like geniuses. Generations of Rugby adminstrators destroyed the game through short sighted media sell outs then wasted the money they received. They spent all their attention and funding on the top of the tree but forgot to nourish the roots of the game. They destroyed the natural integrity of the game with rule change after rule change to appease the marketing gods but destroyed the game’s core identity. No need for supporting the Brumbies when the competition they play in is in more trouble than they are.

Capital Retro2:33 pm 06 Mar 24

Great analysis, waggamick.

I can see the NRL heading in the same direction after that pathetic attempt to export the game where players form a “lean-to” called a scrum to have a rest and voluntary tackles remain unchallenged.

I’d love to go and watch the game if it meant I could actually see it. I stopped going because all I saw was the back of the person in front of me as they stood up to get a better view, or the constant parade of people in and out of their seats to buy beer. If I have to look at a screen to see what is going on, then I might as well do that in the comfort of my home.

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