Super Rugby: Brumbies plan to turn up the pressure valve on Beauden Barrett

  • 28/02/2019

The Brumbies will place another gun Super Rugby playmaker in their crosshairs when they face the Beauden Barrett-led Hurricanes in Palmerston North.

Expectations have been revised in Canberra following their 54-17 rout of the Chiefs at home last week, but the visitors say complacency hasn't entered the equation ahead of Friday's clash with a near-full strength Hurricanes.

The first appearance of the All Blacks five-eighth this season is significant for the Kiwi side, who share the same 1-1 win-loss record as the Brumbies but have struggled for cohesion.

Giving the newly-married Barrett a hellish return is a priority for the Brumbies pack in particular.

Fullback Tom Banks said they were successful in shutting down the impact of All Blacks wiz Damian McKenzie by squeezing the Chiefs in all aspects last week.

Ideally, they'll repeat the dose against two-time world player of the year Barrett.

"You know they're world class players but if you can put as much pressure on them as you can and shut down their attacking emphasis then you go a long way towards nullifying their attack," Banks said.

"It's what we tried to do last week with Damian and hopefully we can do that and then look to play our own game."

Super Rugby: Brumbies plan to turn up the pressure valve on Beauden Barrett

Three-test Wallaby Banks was a stand out performer last week, hitting a no-look inside pass from captain Christian Lealiifano at pace and scorching 50m in the pick of their eight tries.

Hurricanes coach John Plumtree said while there was plenty of hype around Barrett's return, his attention had been caught by a commanding display from Brumbies five-eighth Lealiifano.

"I thought the Brumbies were outstanding, Lealiifano just ran that show so well," he said.

"They've got some good backs and a really good 9-10 combination.

"They looked really organised and when they got momentum against the Chiefs they looked hard to stop."

Another key battle ground will be among the loose forwards, where the world class David Pocock returns for the visitors after overcoming concussion.

Plumtree has whistled up physical All Blacks Ardie Savea and Vaea Fifita in a bid for gainline dominance.

Banks said the Brumbies will look to reset mentally and remember how much soul searching they underwent after losing to the Rebels in the opening round.

They haven't won on New Zealand soil for five years.

"That's why we're not being complacent... the hardest thing is to back it up," Banks said.


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