Brumbies aim to climb best Super team list
July 30, 2013
Jake White reflects on the historic win over the Bulls with Ben Mowen © Getty Images
The Brumbies are aiming to snuff out a second blossoming dynasty in as many weeks in a bid to become Super Rugby's second most successful franchise behind the Crusaders.
Five of Super Rugby's six title-winning teams made the finals this year, of which two of the three most successful - the Crusaders and Bulls - were knocked out in tight semi-final contests by the Chiefs and the Brumbies over the weekend.
A win in Saturday's final against the Chiefs in Hamilton would elevate the fourth-best Brumbies to Super Rugby's second most successful franchise with three championship wins and three runners-up finishes.
That would place them only behind seven-time champions the Crusaders. In one fell swoop, the Brumbies would leapfrog both the Blues and the Bulls. But first they'll need to beat the defending champion Chiefs, who are in the midst of developing their own Super Rugby dynasty.
"The Crusaders have really dominated Super Rugby and every franchise is now trying to do that," Brumbies coach Jake White said. "The Chiefs are trying to do it. The Brumbies are trying to do it. The Bulls have done it for a while now. Everyone aspires to it and it's that sort of achievement that you want to try and get to."
But in order to do so, the Brumbies will have to back up their surprise win against the Bulls in Pretoria by accomplishing several feats no Australian or South African side has ever managed in the competition's 18-year history.
That includes winning any type of finals match in New Zealand, winning a decider in a foreign country, winning a final after finishing outside the top two and winning a final after crossing the Indian Ocean in the lead-up week.
The Brumbies stunned the Bulls in Pretoria (video available only in Australia)
Follow live text commentary of the Super Rugby semi-final between the Chiefs and the Brumbies on Saturday, August, from 7pm (NZT), 5pm (EST), 7am (GMT)
Huw Richards profiles French forward Walter Spanghero, a man who even rugby's hard men thought was a tough nut
"To be part of the Commonwealth Games, I'd wear anything. I'd wear a clown suit." Tom Hamilton talks to Scotland's Sean Lamont
Scrum Sevens looks back at how rugby has fared in both the early Olympics and the past four Commonwealth Games
"Cheika's been phenomenal. He gives you an incredible level of mental strength." Tom Hamilton talks to Waratahs star Jacques Potgieter