Brumbies vow to 'throw kitchen sink' at Chiefs in semi

rugby11 June 2023 05:31| © AFP
Nic White © Getty Images

Halfback Nic White declared the Brumbies would "throw the kitchen sink" at the Chiefs when they fly the flag for Australia in the Super Rugby Pacific semifinals.

The Brumbies denied a clean sweep from New Zealand teams with a pulsating 37-33 quarterfinal victory over the Hurricanes in Canberra on Saturday night.

The dramatic result, culminating in Hurricanes skipper Ardie Savea's desperate dive over the line ruled a no-try, earned the Brumbies a daunting trip to Hamilton next weekend to face the formidable Chiefs.

The Brumbies are aiming to end a nine-year title drought for Australian teams in the competition but will start as major underdogs having lost to the Chiefs just a month ago at home.

The Chiefs also ended the regular season top of the league.

"There's no better challenge, that's the one you want," White said.

"Coming into this game (against Hurricanes)... seeing who the potential line-ups are gonna be, you're hoping you get a chance to go over and test yourself.

"That's what we want to be prepping for all year."

White implored a high-octane Brumbies to continue playing with the trademark flair exhibited during a first-half burst against the Hurricanes that yielded three tries in 16 minutes.

"Get over there and throw the kitchen sink at them. We just got to find ways to be robust," White said of the impending clash with the Chiefs on Saturday.

"It was our last game at home, so we will celebrate this over the next little while.

"We will then get stuck into the review because there is plenty to learn from."

The Brumbies are unlikely to be boosted by the return of injured skipper Allan Alaalatoa, but there is optimism winger Corey Toole can shrug off an ankle niggle.

"(Toole) has tracked pretty well this week, but he's on a rehab programme... we'll wait and see how he turns up on Monday and Tuesday," Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham said.

"Allan's calendar is a little bit more serious than Tooley's. He's improving every day, but I don't think it's going to be there for him."

The top-qualifying Chiefs, who only lost once in the regular season, had to work hard in their quarterfinal against the Reds in Hamilton, only pulling clear in the dying minutes to win 29-20.

But coach Clayton McMillan believes it will serve them better than a one-sided victory.

"Sometimes it's not going to be pretty but you’ve just got to get the job done," he said.

"For a whole number of reasons, being put under pressure I think will be really good for us in the long run."

McMillan said All Blacks loose forward Luke Jacobson was demoted to the bench because he had been ill during the week, but was likely to be available against the Brumbies.

The other semifinal, on Friday, is between reigning champions the Crusaders and Blues.

The brutally efficient Crusaders hammered the Fijian Drua 49-8 in their quarterfinal in Christchurch while the Blues powered past the New South Wales Waratahs 41-12.