In-form Reds target end to Canberra hoodoo

Queensland Reds captain Liam Wright reckons his team are on the cusp of ending a losing record against the Brumbies in Canberra that stretches back six seasons.

LIAM WRIGHT of the Queensland Reds.
LIAM WRIGHT of the Queensland Reds. Picture: Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images

After busting a seven-year drought against the NSW Waratahs, Queensland Reds skipper Liam Wright sees no reason to believe his unbeaten team can't end their Super Rugby hex in Canberra.

It's six years since the Reds toppled the Brumbies in the capital and Wright is up for the fight when the two leading teams in Super Rugby AU meet on Saturday.

The Brumbies have won the last such six encounters at home, scoring 35 tries in the process.

Dan McKellar's men nearly came unstuck in January in round one of the curtailed Super Rugby proper when, with bushfires blazing nearby, they trailed the Reds by 10 points at halftime before prevailing 27-24.

It's a result that stings for Wright, who takes some heart from ending an 11-match losing streak against the Waratahs in round one this month.

"It's been six long years (in Canberra). We've put ourselves in with a shot a few times now, especially this year," he said.

"We made it a mess for ourselves and the Brumbies did really well to come back. We know we can play down there, we've just got to do it for the full 80 minutes.

"That's what we've been chasing this whole competition."

The Reds have been heartened by the return to training of Wallabies sensation Jordan Petaia although Wright rates the outside back's chances of suiting up this weekend as slim.

Injury-prone 20-year-old Petaia has been sidelined by a shoulder problem since February but was showing enough to suggest his return isn't far off.

"He's tracking along quite nicely and getting back into the full swing of things," Wright said.

"I think there's a few more boxes to tick but it's just nice to see him back in training and looking pretty confident.

"He's had a bad run so it's good to see him confident in his body again and just enjoying his footy."

A collision of two in-form packs will be fascinating, with Wright relishing the scrum battle in particular.

Tighthead Taniela Tupou has anchored a dominant Reds front row throughout 2020 but Wright didn't want to light a fuse under the Test-quality Brumbies scrum, even though it hasn't been imposing in recent weeks.

"They're still pretty much a Wallabies front row there so you can't take them lightly or write them off at all," Wright said.