It has been more than three years since the ACT Brumbies tasted victory in New Zealand but skipper Sam Carter says his men will be fired up when they cross the ditch this week.
The Brumbies are desperate to snap a seven-game losing streak in New Zealand when they take on the Wellington Hurricanes in Napier on Friday night.
The Brumbies have lost nine of their past 10 clashes against Kiwi opposition and their horror run in New Zealand dates back to March 7, 2014 when they upstaged the Hurricanes at home.
Last Saturday the Brumbies were stunned by a previously winless Melbourne Rebels and things won’t get any easier against the best attacking team in Super Rugby this week.
The Hurricanes have only dropped one game this season and lead Super Rugby in almost every attacking statistic, sitting as firm $3.60 favourites to win back-to-back premierships.
They have 12 more tires than any other club this season with 48 scored in just seven matches at an average of 6.85 per hit-out.
The Brumbies last win against a Kiwi team was in round one last season when they humbled the Hurricanes 52-10, but the Wellington outfit bounced back in tremendous fashion to win the competition and have this season picked up where they left off.
The Hurricanes are 31 clean breaks ahead of the competition with 129, have left 34 more players in their wake after beating 210 defenders en route to a record 4164m gained.
While those stats would even make Brumbies enforcer Scott Fardy shudder, the ACT team are one of the best defensive units in Super Rugby with an 88 per cent tackle success rate.
Carter conceded complacency may have been a factor in the unacceptable loss to the Rebels, stating his men must bounce back and end their New Zealand drought.
“Those are the kind of matches we need to be winning if we’re going to be a serious threat this season and by our standards that wasn’t good enough and we’ll need to up our game against the Canes,” Carter said.
“There’s no better time than the present [to win in New Zealand], we want to go well in those competitions over there and to be the best you’ve got the beat the best and they’re one of the form teams of the competition.
“It would be a massive confidence boost beating the Canes over there, we’ve had a good record against them in recent years but it doesn’t count for much this week because it’s going to be a tough match.”
Australian teams are winless from 12 attempts against New Zealand opposition this season and have won just three of the past 38 Trans-Tasman clashes.
“I can’t talk for the other teams but I know our team is going to be pretty fired up going to New Zealand this week,” Carter said.
“We’ve had two tough losses this season against the Crusaders and the Highlanders already, so we’re certainly not going to be taking the Hurricanes lightly.
“Set piece moves, counter attack and our defense are the cornerstones of our game and if we can get those right then we’ll go a long way towards winning.”
Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham emphasised an interrupted training week was no excuse for the Rebels loss, but said his staff must stay on their toes.
“It was very a disjointed week, we had Wallaby camp so those boys were out on Monday and we had our first run on Tuesday and it wasn’t a great run,” Larkham said.
“As coaches we need to look at making sure we pick things up on Monday and Tuesday when things aren’t going well.
“Thursday was a good session so no excuses there, but certainly the beginning of the week is something we’ll address as a coaching staff.”