Brumbies push for away win record in SA
March 15, 2013
Jake White's Brumbies will contain five changes as they vie for the record © Getty Images
A reworked Brumbies will look to break the Super Rugby record for the most consecutive away wins when they take on the Sharks in Durban on Sunday morning (AEDT).
SANZAR have confirmed the Brumbies are tied in first place with six consecutive away wins alongside the Crusaders, who performed the feat twice between 1998 and 2000.
"So there is obviously a massive amount for us at stake in terms of getting a result," Brumbies coach Jake White said.
However claiming the outright record will pose several challenges.
They will have to do so without stand-in Wallabies captain David Pocock, who has been ruled out of rugby for up to nine months after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee last week.
The last time the Brumbies lost an away game was also in the first week of their 2012 South African tour - against the Bulls in Pretoria in week nine - by just two points.
That was also the same week the Sharks last lost a game at home, having won six straight in Durban since.
And just like the Brumbies, last year's runners-up the Sharks have won three from three this season.
"The exciting thing about the weekend is we've played three Australian sides and they've played three South African sides," White said.
"We now get a chance to go cross conference and see how good we are - both of us." White has made a surprising five changes to the starting team which dominated the Waratahs in Canberra last week.
Scott Sio (prop), George Smith (openside flanker), Fotu Auelua (No.8), Tevita Kuridrani (outside centre) and Joe Tomane (wing) have all been promoted into the starting XV.
It is believed White has had this team lined up in his head to face the Sharks for many weeks, with the idea the South African forwards will find the physical presence of Sio and Auelua troubling.
The injection of Tomane and 196cm Fijian-born former Sevens player Kuridrani in the backs also indicates White plans to launch a running-rugby style of attack to tire the big South African players off their feet.
White knows what to expect from the Sharks outfit, having coached many of the team's backbone to win the 2007 IRB Rugby World Cup.
"Sometimes it's quite nice to know those players like the back of your hand," he said. "I know which ones scrum legally and which ones illegally.
"At the end of the day, it is an advantage and I think the Brumbies enjoy the fact that I understand those players and understand what their strengths and weaknesses are."
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