Preview: Brumbies v. Lions - Green and Gold Rugby
ACT Brumbies

Preview: Brumbies v. Lions

Preview: Brumbies v. Lions

The Brumbies are back in action on Friday after a bye when they take on the high flying Lions from South Africa on Friday night.

The home side is currently on a three match losing streak and will be looking to get back into the winners circle and extend their lead over the chasing conference pack especially with the Waratahs on a bye.

The Brumbies had to do a lot of defending against the Blues two weeks ago and weren’t allowed to do much with the ball and it was their execution that let them down in that match. They won’t have to change too much but need to be far more clinical if they are to secure the win.

They have made five changes for this game and welcome back Jordan Smiler and Kyle Godwin from injury. Ben Alexander replaces Nic Mayhew in the front row and Jarrd Butler replaces Chris Alcock on the side of the scrum. Aidan Toua is back into the starting side at fullback that means Tom Banks moves to the bench after a good outing against the Blues.

The Lions who are currently on a seven match winning streak and looking for a clean sweep against Australian opposition in 2017 after defeating both the Force and Rebels on this tour after beating the Waratahs and Reds back home.

It has been six years since the Lions last played in Canberra and they did defeat the Brumbies that was an interesting night in itself that lead to the infamous ‘Rea Spray’. The last two times they played were in Johannesburg and the Brumbies came away with the win both times.

The Lions backline has been tearing opposition defences to shreds lead by Elton Jantjies and have some good finishers including winger Courtnall Skosan who has bagged seven tries in ten games this season. His wing partner Sylvian Mahuza also knows how to find the line and scored a brilliant solo try against the Rebels last week himself.

The Brumbies will need to play a complete 80 minute performance and get in front on the scoreboard early as the Lions have a very good record when it comes to the final 20 minutes where they have scored 17 tries whilst only conceding three.

They also have two players in the top ten of metres gained with fullback Andries Coetzee joining Skosan on that list so the Brumbies will have to limit their chances to counter attack with accurate field kicking in their exit plays.

The Lions have made five changes for this match where coach Johan Ackermann has compared the Brumbies to the Bulls in their approach to their play (hopefully not their results). A whole new front row has been named with another change in the second row with Andries Ferreira coming in with the final change on the bench.


Henry Speight v Courtnall Skosan

I keep putting Speight in for they key matchup but this game he will need to be at his defensive best to keep Skosan quiet. Speight has been one of the Brumbies best in the backs in 2017 and will need a big game for the Brumbies to be successful.

Jordan Smiler v Warren Whiteley

Smiler is back from injury and forms a new look back row with Fardy and Butler and is up against Lions captain Warren Whiteley. He leads the Lions from the front and Smiler won’t have much time to ease into the game and will need a trademark defensive game.


It’s not quite a must win game but the Brumbies need to get their season back on track before they head on tricky a lap of the Southern Hemisphere. The Lions are into their third week on tour so hopefully they have an eye on the departure lounge and get caught off guard and the Brumbies can sneak home by less than 7.



1 Ben Alexander
2 Josh Mann-Rea
3 Allan Alaalatoa
4 Rory Arnold
5 Sam Carter (C)
6 Scott Fardy
7 Jarrad Butler
8 Jordan Smiler
9 Joe Powell
10 Wharenui Hawera
11 James Dargaville
12 Kyle Godwin
13 Tevita Kuridrani
14 Henry Speight
15 Aidan Toua

16 Robbie Abel
17 Nic Mayhew
18 Leslie Leulua’iali’i-Makin
19 Blake Enever
20 Ben Hyne
21 De Wet Roos
22 Jordan Jackson-Hope
23 Tom Banks


1 Corne Fourie
2 Robbie Coetzee
3 Johannes Jonker
4 Andries Ferreira
5 Franco Mostert
6 Kwagga Smith
7 Ruan Ackermann
8 Warren Whiteley
9 Ross Cronje
10 Elton Jantjies
11 Courtnall Skosan
12 Harold Vorster
13 Lionel Mapoe
14 Sylvian Mahuza
15 Andries Coetzee

16 Malcolm Marx
17 Jacques van Rooyen
18 Ruan Dreyer
19 Lourens Erasmus
20 Robert Kruger/Cyle Brink
21 Dillon Smit
22 Jacques Nel
23 Anthony Volmink

  • Adrian

    Brumbies will be more desperate, and Lions probably a bit complacent and homesick.

    Still, I see it as Lions by 7

  • Pedro

    A win would be great. Fingers crossed.

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    If the Brumbies okay on attack like they did for the first half against the Blues and tighten up their defense then they are definitely in with a chance. In fact do it right and they’ll win easily.
    I’m just not sure Larkham has actually got the skills to get this out of his players.

ACT Brumbies

Canberra born and bred Rugby fan brought up on Canberra Kookaburra and ACT Brumbies Rugby.

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