THE Brumbies have set themselves a goal of conceding under 20 points a game and becoming the best defensive unit in Super Rugby.
Under new head coach Dan McKellar, the Brumbies are refining their attacking structure following the departure of previous coach Stephen Larkham.
The Canberra-based franchise had the competition’s best defensive record in 2015, but dropped to seventh in 2016.
They improved to third last year and defence coach Peter Ryan has designs on being the best next year.
“We need to be under 20 points against regardless of whether it’s tries or conversions,” Ryan said.
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“If we can do that then the Brumbies historically have always been able to score more than 20 points so that puts us in a strong position.”
Striking the balance between attack and defence is something the Brumbies are striving for after not always getting it right.
“In 2015 we were the best defensive team and then in 2016 we had a major focus change on our attack,” Ryan said.
“Ultimately that didn’t really come out in tries for and points against, so we ended up in seventh spot in defence, which from my point of view is nowhere near the standard of Super Rugby level for us at the Brumbies.
“Last season we stepped it up again, but next year we want to take that to the top level again and we want to definitely be number one in defence.
“Although we are changing our attack to a slight degree… I think our defence will come along for the ride.”
McKellar has made it clear no one is guaranteed a walk-up start to the team.
“Every day he’s challenged us all the spots are up for grabs,” Brumbies hooker Folau Fainga’a said.
“He said a few times everyone is up for selection next year, so there’s no room for comfort zones.”
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