Brumbies 'have variations up their sleeve'
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Brumbies prop Allan Alaalatoa says the career-best form of his teammates is driving the club towards a drought-breaking Super Rugby title.
Alaalatoa is one of at least five Brumbies in superb touch heading into their semi-final clash against the Jaguares in Buenos Aires on Friday.
The Canberra men should make up the bulk of the Wallabies World Cup squad this year, with Christian Lealiifano, Henry Speight, Tevita Kuridrani and Joe Powell all deserving of a Test recall.
The Brumbies have won a single-season club record seven straight games and are one victory from their first final since 2013, which they could potentially host.
Wallabies front-rower Alaalatoa said the individual brilliance of his teammates was infectious and behind the Brumbies’ historic 2019 campaign.
“It’s been a great season and what really helps me is seeing my brothers next to me doing a great job, seeing guys like Rory [Arnold] and [Tom] Banks light up the field lifts my game,” Alaalatoa told AAP.
“You definitely get that vibe of feeding off each other and when you see one of the boys doing something special it automatically lifts you.
“When you’re playing next to those boys it’s an awesome feeling and you just want to join in on what they’re doing and add to the huge impact they’re having.”
The Brumbies started their season 2-5 but have since won nine of the past 10 games.
The Brumbies most recent loss came against the Jaguares but Alaalatoa believes they’ve since evolved into one of the most versatile sides in Super Rugby.
The 30-Test tighthead backed two more wins to secure the club’s first title since 2004.
“It wasn’t the way we wanted to start the season but we’ve found our feet. We have a strong bond off the field which you can now really see on the field,” Alaalatoa said.
“Sides definitely know our set piece is strong but we have variations up our sleeve too. The backs are in some form as well so overall we’re very happy.
“It would be huge [to make the final]. That’s why we all play the game, to be in the big games. Even being in the playoffs now is something we’ve been moving towards all season.”
The Brumbies have scored more first-half tries (42) than any team this season and Alaalatoa said another fast start was paramount to shutting down the Jaguares.
“It’s a semi-final, you’re only going to get minimal opportunities. In finals footy you have to have that ability to take that opportunity but also to create them,” Alaalatoa
“We need to come out firing because the last time we were here we missed those opportunities, but our game has grown a lot since then.
“We have to take confidence out of seven straight wins but we have to keep moving forward. We can’t rely on those wins to pull us through the week.”