Brumbies to travel world for Super title
The Brumbies could face one of the most gruelling travel schedules in world sport to end a 15-year Super Rugby title drought, but Wallabies fullback Tom Banks says they can do it.
The Brumbies host the Sharks in a quarterfinal on Saturday and if the seeds hold they'll travel to Argentina the next day for a chance to play in the July 6 final.
It would mark the Canberra club's second trip to Buenos Aires in two months after they narrowly lost to the Jaguares in round 11.
But if the second-placed Jaguares lose to the Chiefs on Saturday (AEST), and the third-placed Brumbies win their ninth game in 10 starts, then Canberra will host a semi-final.
"That's why it's so big trying to finish on top of the ladder," Banks said.
"It is tough trying to travel around the world and that's why you've got to get your preparation really down pat and we've tried to do that really well this year.
"Definitely we can win it all. A good performance this weekend and the boys will be humming.
"The (Argentina trip) is in the back of your mind but you've got to win this game first. That travel is not easy but you always know it's going to be there."
The Brumbies have a favourable finals run, opposition-wise, after the draw was split instead of being seed-dictated due to expensive pre-booked travel costs covered by the governing body SANZAAR.
Super Rugby's flawed ladder, thanks to the conference system, means the Brumbies will avoid the two best-performing teams this season, the Crusaders and Hurricanes, until the final.
The Brumbies could even host the final against the Bulls, Highlanders or Hurricanes, despite the latter winning two more games in 2019.
But first they must get past the Sharks, the only South African team the Brumbies haven't played this season, and Banks is feeling confident.
"Winning eight of our past nine, we've built good momentum at the right end of the season and we just need to brings that into finals," Banks said.
"We'll know what they bring, we've been able to review enough games. The game will be won up front, so our forwards have a big task this week.
"They've also got some speed out wide and electric feet, so we've got to be really wary of that but we have to shut down their big ball carriers first and stop their go forward.
"We've been trying to attack where the space is this season, whether that be through the forwards or the backs, and it's something we've done really well.
"That (finals) intensity is when you have that realisation if you lose you go home so everyone puts everything out there. You can't afford to have lulls."