They felt it when leaving Canberra for Brisbane 12 years ago and twins Anthony and Saia Fainga’a say the rivalry has only grown due to the tribal nature of Super Rugby AU.
The Reds and Brumbies will meet in the decide for the second-straight year, with Suncorp Stadium expected to be near capacity on Saturday for the ground’s best-attended rugby game in almost a decade.
The Brumbies narrowly won last year’s title but have lost two similarly close clashes to the Reds this season in spicy contests.
The Fainga’a brothers fondly recall the Reds’ only Super Rugby championship in 2011, having left the Brumbies for Ballymore three years earlier.
“They let us go, said ‘Anthony you’re no good’ and now, there’s been a lot of words between these two sides currently,” Anthony Fainga’a said on Wednesday.
“But you go to where you get the opportunity and now the domestic competition itself is really allowing that tribalism to build.
“When we got to the Reds (in 2009) we were coming last and there’s similarities with this side.
“Last year they were written off and this year they’ve won every game except for one, have everything to play for and such great talent.”
Brumbies coach Dan McKellar was happy to accept the role of underdogs earlier this week and it came as no surprise to Saia Fainga’a.
“The Brumbies have been underdogs since they started,” he said.
“It’s going to be a great game … the Reds, they’re exciting, people want to come and are re-energised.”
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