Melissa Woods June 02, 2012
With a Super Rugby finals berth sewn up the Brumbies say they've got targets on their backs for other teams looking to spoil their dream season.
The Brumbies are five points clear of the Reds at the top of the Australian conference ladder after their hard-fought 27-19 win over the Melbourne Rebels at AAMI Park.
The win has them poised for a charge to the top two of the overall competition with three rounds remaining following the hiatus for mid-season internationals.
Coach Jake White has refused to talk finals footy up to this point due to the unpredictable nature of the competition but says his team have proven they're up to it.
"It's not that I'm downplaying it to be smart, it's just that it's such a tough comp," White said.
"We've got three games left and there's a lot of teams that are now taking us seriously.
"The Rebels obviously decided they wanted to have a full crack and that's what's going to happen in the last three games and we're going to have to play well in order to get to those play-offs but we're not going to get ahead of ourselves."
The Brumbies play the Western Force in Perth, the Waratahs in Sydney and then host the lowly Blues before the finals.
White said it would be a challenge to stop those teams, who are playing for the futures and for pride, but it was a problem he was happy to have.
"In one season we've gone from, weren't supposed to win a game to having an inexperienced team and now to front-runners of the conference and everyone wanting to knock us over.
"I'd rather be in the situation we're in now as opposed to playing every week for the wooden spoon."
The Brumbies will have a break until Thursday and then prepare to face Wales in Canberra on Tuesday week.
The Test hopefuls from both the Brumbies and the Rebels came through the match unscathed, although Melbourne winger Cooper Vuna appeared to jar his knee in the second half but completed the game.
Scoring a try Vuna got the better of his fellow Australian squad member Joseph Tomane while the points between halfbacks Nick Phipps and Nic White were evenly split.