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Brumbies hunt first rugby win over Sharks

NZN 3/03/2017 Matt Coughlan

The Brumbies are out to combat the physicality of the Sharks by winning the set-piece battle to grab their first Super Rugby win of the season.

After encouraging signs in their 17-13 loss to the Crusaders in round one, flanker Scott Fardy, who has confirmed he will leave the club at the end of the season, believes the contest between the packs will be crucial in Saturday night's match at GIO Stadium.

"They've got a big forward pack and that's always a way to beat these South African sides - you've got to go against them at the set piece and win that battle," Fardy said.

Curbing the influence of Sharks five-eighth Pat Lambie by limiting his opportunities in front of goal will also be a telling factor.

"Discipline is going to be a big one. I think the way Lambie kicks the ball, he's such a prolific points scorer," Fardy said.

The Sharks are coming off a narrow defeat to Queensland in their season opener where Lambie nailed his first six shots on goal but was unable to kick the decisive penalty in the closing stages.

While Fardy will leave to join Irish giants Leinster at the end of the year, the Brumbies have secured co-captain Sam Carter until the end of 2019.

The 201cm lock is relishing the chance to lead the team in Canberra for the first time.

"They're a strong physical team - they like to maul a lot," Carter said.

"They've got a great kicking game so it's typical South African play. We're going to have to be on our A-game."

The Brumbies take an unchanged line-up into the match with new halves pairing of Joe Powell and Wharenui Hawera given another chance to gel while, with Scott Sio's hamstring injury, Nic Mayhew retains the No.1 jersey.

"It puts a lot of confidence in the young guys," Carter said.

"It just gets out combinations together for another week so we're excited to see what we can do against the Sharks."

The Sharks have made two changes with Stephan Lewies coming in to replace Etienne Oosthuizen, who misses through suspension, and young fullback Curwin Bosch has been dropped to the bench for Clement Poitrenaud.

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