In just one day, the UC Brumbies will take on back to back champs, the Waikato Chiefs, in the Super Rugby Final for 2013, and it’s safe to say that Canberra has now, finally, embraced its rugby team. Within a day of that fairytale win over the Bulls pubs, bars and local rugby clubs were booked out. Signs have popped up on the side of the road supporting the boys, and they were welcomed home by so many fans at the airport. We’re all just a little bit excited!! We’ve finally done it!! We made it!
This is the most excited myself and my close friends have ever been for a rugby game. And possibly the most nervous. It has been a long time coming and when meeting the boys at the airport on Monday (well not all of them. They left Matt Toomua in Sydney. Awkward) all we could say was how proud of them we were, and you could tell how grateful they were for the support of the many fans that turned up. It was especially evident with Stephen Larkham, who I saw walking off in tears. I am certain that there is enough passion in this organisation to take them to a third Super Rugby title.
The boys will no doubt be exhausted after travelling from Canberra to Sydney, Sydney to Johannesburg, Johannesburg to Sydney, Sydney to Canberra, then back to Sydney and then onto Hamilton, all in a week and a half. I feel tired just writing it. It is a big ask for them to perform 100% this weekend, but I know that the passion and determination that rugby fans have witnessed all year will see the boys win this game. The defence we showed last week against the Bulls will have to be mirrored, the Chiefs are a tough side to beat and we need to keep them away from the try line as much as possible. Players like Henry Speight, Tevita Kuridrani and Jesse Mogg will have to be try scoring machines, and Christian Lealiifano will have to have his game face-on, well let’s be honest… when does he not, because I have the sneaking suspicion that this game will come down to penalties. My tip for the weekend is Brumbies by 5. It’s going to be a close one, edge of your seat stuff, and will most likely end with myself sobbing in the middle of the bar. No shame whatsoever.
Just a quick last word.
To the Chiefs, all the best for the game.
To the Brumbies coaching staff. Thank you for everything that you have done for this team, especially Jake, Laurie and Stephen. You have turned this team into champions and have brought pride in our rugby team back to the capital, and for showing rugby fans what can be done with a ‘bunch of no-bodies’.. You produced 12 Wallabies.
To the boys, good luck. There is no team more deserving of a Super Rugby title than you guys, go out there and play like it’s just any other rugby match, it’s just another 80 mins of rugby! Don’t let the hype of this game stress you out or make you nervous!! You deserve to be in the position you are in, and you will win. It has been an absolute pleasure getting to know most of you over the past two years, you’re all such hard working, lovely and kind people. Stick to your guns boys, play with pride!!