Brumbies coach Dan McKellar wants a season-best 15,000 in the house to help the club secure its first Super Rugby finals victory in four years.
The Brumbies have a golden opportunity to break a 15-year title drought thanks to a favourable finals draw and a full-strength squad.
Their post-season campaign begins with a home quarter-final against the Sharks on Saturday and McKellar has called on fans to return for the sudden-death clash.
The Brumbies struggled, along with the rest of the competition, to draw crowds in the regular season and recorded its second lowest average attendance (8509) in history this year.
The Canberra club can potentially host all three finals after finishing third on the ladder and McKellar said they’ll need crowd support to clinch their first championship since 2004.
“There’s no doubt if you’ve got 15,000 people cheering you, on your home turf, it makes a massive difference, especially when times are tough,” McKellar told AAP.
“There are going to be times on Saturday night when our backs are against the wall and just having that extra support, knowing your supporters are there driving you on, the adrenaline certainly goes to another level.”
The Brumbies can hardly be blamed for the dip in support this season, they’ve been playing scintillating rugby and are gunning for club record seventh straight win.
The Australian conference winners have scored the second-most tries (65) through a combination of running rugby and grunt work in the forwards.
“As an organisation we’ve done a lot of work to ensure we get good support and from a football point of view we’re playing a brand of rugby that’s attractive to watch,” McKellar said.
“There’s a group of guys there that love representing the Brumbies and the community, so all signs lead to a good crowd this weekend.”
Super Rugby’s flawed ladder, due to the conference system, means the Brumbies will avoid the two best-performing teams this season, the Crusaders and Hurricanes, until the final.
But that scenario could cost the club as they must pay $75,000 to visiting teams, as per a Super Rugby agreement, and small crowds would see the Brumbies dip into their own pockets.
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