Brumbies coach Dan McKellar says “honest reviews” will keep his side grounded ahead of their litmus test against the Highlanders next week.
The Brumbies have enjoyed a dream start to the Super Rugby season with two straight wins despite five Wallabies and 170 Test caps departing in the off-season.
They’ve won back-to-back Australian derbies against Queensland and the Melbourne Rebels but now face the Highlanders in round three.
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McKellar knows his men know they aren’t world beaters yet but backed them to improve again as they chase 11 straight home wins next Saturday.
“You review honestly,” McKellar said when asked how to keep a lid on things.
“The boys are smart footballers, they understand there were some things to like about last week but we knew we could be a whole lot better and it will be exactly the same this week.
“We won’t be getting too far ahead of ourselves. The Highlanders were beaten (on Friday) – the Sharks have done us no favours there.
“New Zealand teams are always quality, they lose players and replace them with players we’ve never heard of, they’ve got great athletes over there.”
A new era of @Highlanders rugby kicked off in forgettable fashion at Forsyth Barr Stadium on Friday night, but there were some positives that came from the 42-20 defeat to the @TheSharksZA. #SuperRugby https://t.co/UMmJ0q17Fx
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) February 8, 2020
Brumbies skipper Allan Alaalotoa said New Zealand teams “play fast” and McKellar believes adapting in the key moments will prove the difference.
“Turnovers are critical against New Zealand sides,” McKellar said.
“The Highlanders have always been dangerous off turnover ball and the Chiefs (the following week) will be no different.
“That’s always a focus against New Zealand teams.
“They’re well coached the Highlanders, I’m sure they will be ready to bounce back and put in a good performance.
“But we need to enjoy the momentum we’re building and know (we’re) watching some exciting young talent that are the future of this club and Australian rugby.”
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