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Fainga'a close to unique record

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Brumbies hooker Folau Fainga'a on brink of unique record

The Brumbies will arrive in Brisbane on Sunday on the brink of some quirky history and with a point to prove against the Reds.

Another try to hooker Folau Fainga’a would make it a club-first six consecutive matches with a five-pointer – something that only Lions star Malcolm Marx has achieved in Super Rugby.

The benefactor of a highly effective rolling maul, Fainga’a’s competition-best six tries in five games this season is an indication of how well the Brumbies’ set piece has fared.

But it isn’t lost on the Brumbies that, under second-year coach Brad Thorn, the Reds have are challenging to take that mantle.

“Last year (after they played) Brad spoke a lot about us setting the benchmark of set piece and their desire to knock us off the perch,” Brumbies coach Dan McKellar said.

“That irked us a bit so we’ll be going up looking to make sure our scrum, lineout and maul continues to have the dominance it’s had over the first couple of weeks.”

McKellar has called on former Reds captain James Slipper to meet that challenge, naming him to start ahead of Wallabies prop Scott Sio at prop.

Taniela Tupou returns for the Reds from an enforced rest, creating a scrum battle that has McKellar salivating.

“She won’t be one-way traffic there. We’re ramped up for a real good scrum contest,” he said.

“I’m sure with Thorny and Ryno (assistant Peter Ryan) leading the charge it’ll be nice and physical.”

Reds attack coach Jim McKay knows where the game will be won or lost.

“We’ve identified it as a strength of theirs,” he said of the rolling maul.

“We’ve planned how we can counter that and it’s how you manage the game (to deny them opportunities to execute it).”

The Brumbies will be without Wallabies flanker David Pocock (calf) and forward Alan Alaalatoa (wrist) will miss the clash, while Bryce Hegarty (ribs) returns for Queensland.

AAP

Watch – Christian Leali’ifano ahead of Reds clash:

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Brumbies hooker Folau Fainga'a on brink of unique record