The Brumbies are determined to end an almost six-year Super Rugby losing streak in New Zealand when they face the Chiefs on Saturday in Hamilton.
The Canberra franchise haven’t won across the ditch since March 2014 when they beat the Hurricanes, and Tevita Kuridrani, Scott Sio and Lachy McCaffrey are the only surviving players.
The Brumbies lost a heartbreaker after the siren last week against the Highlanders, having won only three times against Kiwi opposition since February 2016.
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To end the New Zealand hoodoo, they must upset the unbeaten Chiefs and Wallaby-in-waiting Rob Valetini says half the battle is psychological.
“My first time versing the Chiefs, I looked at them as the All Blacks because there was a ton of them playing but, as the game went on, (I realised) they’re human,” Valetini said.
“It’s definitely going to be a hard match-up this week. They’re on top of the table and have All Blacks scattered across the squad and Aaron Cruden at 10.
“But I think we’re up for it. It’s about fronting up as a team. We’ll get the job done if we get around each other. If we bring the energy, we can pull an upset.
“There’s a real belief within the team and the young boys are stepping up.”
Brumbies lock Cadeyrn Neville has also played for Melbourne and Queensland and earned more than 65 Super Rugby caps, but he’s never won in New Zealand.
“Beating a New Zealand side anywhere (is tough) and then doing it at their home ground … it’s going to be a big ask but we’re ready,” Neville said.
“Their conveyor belt (of talent) isn’t going to stop anytime soon so, even if they rolled out a team full of people I’d never heard of, I wouldn’t expect any less of them.
“At the Rebels, we had a win within grasp in Hamilton one year but we blew that, so I know even if it’s there for the taking, you’ve got to finish it.”
Brumbies lock Cadeyrn Neville ahead of Chiefs clash:
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