Preview: Brumbies v. Sunwolves - Green and Gold Rugby
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Preview: Brumbies v. Sunwolves

Preview: Brumbies v. Sunwolves

The Brumbies are back from the bye and this week they look to extend their unbeaten streak against the Sunwolves. This match was due to take place in Japan on Sunday afternoon but due to the coronavirus threat in Japan, the game has had to be rescheduled from downtown Osaka to the equally cosmopolitan surrounds of WIN stadium in Wollongong at the unusual time of 2:45pm AEDT on Friday.

The Brumbies are coming off one of their best games in years with a gutsy win over the Chiefs in Hamilton and will be hungry for a strong win to keep their advantage on top of the Aussie conference.

They have made a few changes to their starting side for this game with Ryan Lonergan getting a start at scrum half in place of Joe Powell. Toni Pulu gets a start on the left wing and he’ll be looking to regain his form after a delayed start to the season.

In the front row, the rotation system among the front rowers continues with Scott Sio starting ahead of James Slipper who will no doubt be looking to showcase his handling skills like those displayed in the leadup to the Tom Banks try in Hamilton.

The rescheduled game means the Sunwolves have to extend their overseas tour by at least two weeks and so far, it hasn’t been pretty viewing after conceding more than 60 points in both games in defeats to the Reds in Brisbane and the Hurricanes in Napier.

In their final ever season that looked promising after a first-round defeat of the Rebels, they have barely fired a shot since.

This week they have made a raft of changes as coach Naoya Okubo looks to get something out his side on tour and salvage some pride. They go into this match with a whole new starting front row. Former Brumby Nic Mayhew comes against one of his old sides and starts at loosehead prop up against Allan Alaalatoa.

There are also mass changes in the back three with Tautalatasi Tasi, Yoshizumi Takeda and Springbok JJ Engelbrecht taking the field.

The halves pairing of Rudy Paige and Garth April hold the key is the Sunwolves are any chance of causing an upset but they’ll need to be accurate with their kicking and not give the Brumbies back three of Toni Pulu, Tom Banks and Solomone Kata a chance of wreaking havoc and slicing through their swiss cheese defence.

They do have some exciting players in the backline but getting them the ball has been an issue in recent weeks.

On a side note, there will be interest to see how Ben Hyne goes for the Sunwolves. He’ll be on the bench and now that he has finally escaped the injury curse that saw two knee injuries limit his opportunities for the Brumbies.


The Brumbies should be targeting this with a big win and continue the misery of the Sunwolves tour and if their last two games are anything to go by, they could be in for a long afternoon especially if the rain keeps up. Connal McInerney will be licking his lips to add to his second half hat-trick in Tokyo last year.



1 Scott Sio
2 Connal McInerney
3 Allan Alaalatoa
4 Murray Douglas
5 Cadeyrn Neville
6 Rob Valetini
7 Will Miller
8 Pete Samu
9 Ryan Lonergan
10 Noah Lolesio
11 Toni Pulu
12 Irae Simone
13 Tevita Kuridrani
14 Solomone Kata
15 Tom Banks

16 Lachlan Lonergan
17 James Slipper
18 Tom Ross
19 Darcy Swain
20 Tom Cusack
21 Joe Powell
22 Reesjan Pasitoa
23 Tom Wright


1 Nic Mayhew
2 Efitusi Maafu
3 Conraad van Vuuren
4 Kotaro Yatabe
5 Michael Stolberg
6 Justin Downey
7 Shunsuke Nunomaki
8 Jake Schatz
9 Rudy Paige
10 Garth April
11 Tautalatasi Tasi
12 Ben Teo
13 Siosaia Fifita
14 JJ Engelbrecht
15 Yoshizumi Takeda

16 Jaba Bregvadze
17 Jarrod Adams
18 Hencus van Wyk
19 Ben Hyne
20 Tevita Tupou
21 Naoto Saito
22 Jumpei Ogura
23 Keisuke Moriya


Kick off: 2:45 PM AEDT Friday 6 March
WIN Stadium, Wollongong
Referee: Federico Anselmi
AR1: Amy Perrett
AR2: Aaron Pook
TMO: Ian Smith

  • idiot savant

    3 figures Brums, you know you can do it!

    • Brumby Runner

      Ha, ha. Given the weather and the presumed motivation of the Sunwolves to show some improvement over the past couple of weeks, it might be a difficult job just to get a winning bonus point.

      • Geoffro

        After a “gusty” win over the chiefs they should be able to handle the weather. “The equally cosmopolitan surrounds of WIN stadium in Wollongong” it !

    • Geoffro

      Right on.Without a large crowd to distract them and in broad daylight I expect a cricket score though a few showers and humidity may cruel it.

  • Steve

    “The Brumbies are back from the bye and this week they look to extend their unbeaten streak”

    Come on Steve I thought we only make this joke for the Waratahs!

    Glad to see Lonergan get his first start, he’s been really impressive in his time this year.

    As a long-time Brumbies fan I summarise this game as “They better not fking lose”

    • Brumby Runner

      I think the salient point is “against the Sunwolves”. Don’t think they’ve ever lost to the Sunwolves and that’s the point Steve L was making.

    • The beauty of using a template. Wait for net week….

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