Brumbies the 'feel good' story of Australia
Brumbies coach Dan McKellar said his team was determined to create positive headlines in a year that Rugby Union has been plagued by off-field incidents.
Sacked Wallabies star Israel Folau has dominated the news in more recent times, as he takes his former employer Rugby Australia to court in an ugly and drawn-out saga.
But McKellar said his men were successful in bringing the conversation back to rugby, before their season ended one game short of the Super Rugby Final at the weekend.
The Brumbies started the season with just two wins and five defeats, before storming into the play-offs with a six-game winning streak – eight wins in their last nine matches.
However, they were stopped in the semifinal by the Jaguares in Buenos Aires.
“We’re really proud of how we’ve turned our season around,” McKellar said.
“We wanted to buck the trend and create some positivity within the game throughout Australia and I think we’ve done that this year, without a doubt.”
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The Brumbies were comprehensively beaten in Argentina, going down 7-39 to a clinical Jaguares side.
“They were very good tonight and we struggled,” McKellar said.
“We turned over too much footy. That was the story of the night. We couldn’t build any pressure or momentum, we were always chasing our tails.
“It didn’t go how we wanted it to go, but no excuses, we were beaten by a better team and the Jaguares are a quality side.”
McKellar said he was still proud of the season.
“It’s a disappointing end but there’s a lot to like about this season. The growth in the team, the developments we’ve made within our game over the last couple of years have certainly come to the fore,” McKellar said.
“The most pleasing part of this year for us is not just how we’ve performed but the environment we’ve created within this group.
“I’m really proud of our playing group and where we’ve come from this season.”