Brumbies not buying Reds' Super bites

The finals-bound Brumbies won't be dragged into any tit-for-tat when the Reds visit in the final round of Super Rugby's regular season.

DAN MCKELLAR, head coach of the Brumbies, looks on ahead of the Super Rugby match between the Highlanders and the Brumbies at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin, New Zealand.
DAN MCKELLAR, head coach of the Brumbies, looks on ahead of the Super Rugby match between the Highlanders and the Brumbies at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin, New Zealand. Picture: Dianne Manson/Getty Images

The Queensland Reds are doing their best to poke the bear, but the ACT Brumbies aren't biting as they look beyond Saturday's entree to a Super Rugby finals main course.

Dan McKellar's men have won five straight games to move to 9-6 this season and ensure a home quarter-final next weekend as the Australian conference winners.

The Reds (6-9) have faded out of calculations in recent weeks and need a win in Canberra to better last season's record.

They will travel with fond memories though after a 36-14 victory when the Brumbies last visited Brisbane in round six.

The Reds' scrum and maul didn't budge in what was a comprehensive set piece performance at Suncorp Stadium - one assistant coach Peter Ryan was particularly proud of.

"They came up with the mindset they were going to steamroll over the top of us in the maul and scrum and that didn't eventuate," Ryan, a former player and coach at the Brumbies, said.

"They've got a point to prove towards us, we're fully aware of that and if we don't turn up then they will put 50 points on us.

"I hope they turn up tired from mauling all week."

Reminded of that result, McKellar's response might've disappointed Ryan.

"It's not high on our motivation list; it's all about putting in a good performance back at home leading into next week," he said.

"They're just big, physical men. I think they'll be pretty direct."

Bordeaux-bound Scott Higginbotham will start off the bench in his final game for Queensland while in-form captain Samu Kerevi has been named for what could be his last Super Rugby appearance as he considers a move to Japan's Top League.

That means the Wallabies centre has only been rested once this season, while many of his national teammates have been forced to sit out twice as part of the side's World Cup preparations.

There were no hard and fast rules around the policy though and Ryan said there was no resistance from Rugby Australia in Kerevi's case.

Meanwhile, with a finals spot sewn up, McKellar will resist making wholesale changes to his side.

"We certainly thought about it but confidence, momentum ... that's important at this time of year," he said.


AAP