Brumbies look to rebuild ‘winning culture’ through Vikings & NRC
It’s been a long time between drinks for Australia’s most successful Super Rugby franchise.
11 years to be exact, since the two-time champions last opened their trophy cabinet.
But all that could change this Saturday, when the Brumbies backed UC Vikings head to Ballymore to face Brisbane City in the National Rugby Championship decider.
“There are a lot of Brumbies guys that are looking to build that winning culture. The Brumbies haven’t won a trophy in a number of years now so I think this weekend is a really important stepping stone to the 2016 Super Rugby season,” Director of Rugby Dan McKellar said.
“The culture over the last few years has changed here. We’ve been close and we are close again in the NRC this year, but we need to take it one step further and then we can take that confidence into next year.”
McKellar admitted the Vikings ‘missed the jump’ in last year’s inaugural NRC competition and struggled to compete with the competition’s better prepared sides.
After finishing sixth with just two wins in 2014, the Canberra outfit changed their approach for their second season in the third tier competition, and the results came quickly.
“We learnt a lot from last year, we made a lot of changes in and around scheduling and how we trained and how we brought the club players together with the Brumbies contracted players and the proof is there that those changes have certainly helped,” McKellar said.
“We’ve just got a really good group of footballers and a really good group of men who have all gotten on board with what we are doing and taken on the messages from the coaching staff, so it’s been a really enjoyable three months.”
The Vikings fell just short against minor premiers Brisbane City in round eight, losing 37-31 in Canberra, however McKellar said he was confident his side was good enough to match the star studded Brisbane outfit.
“Defence is the key, we need to make good decisions around the ruck. If we go and bury our heads in dead rucks and lose bodies from the defensive live, well then they have the ability to shift the ball quickly and skin you out wide.
“We’ve got to put pressure on them defensively, but the key is to make really good decisions and present a solid line so that we don’t give them that space to attack on the edge.”