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Brumbies out to snap Super losing streak

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 11/05/2017 Matt Coughlan

With the clouds around Australia's Super Rugby performance showing no signs of clearing, the ACT Brumbies have focused on raining on the Lions' parade.

Both sides enter Friday night's match in Canberra in the midst of streaks, although the Brumbies' unwanted three-straight losses is in stark contrast to the Lions' six wins on the trot.

The silver lining for the ACT-based franchise is their position at the top of the Australian conference.

But with a tour to South Africa and Argentina beckoning, they will be desperate to regain some momentum as the season builds to a climax.

Australian teams have had three successes from 31 attempts against overseas opposition this season, with the Brumbies yet to make a contribution to the win column.

That dismal record has prompted the ARU to hold a coaching summit to address the crisis while either the Western Force or Melbourne Rebels remain on a long march to extinction.

While the overwhelming majority of the Brumbies' pain has been inflicted by New Zealand sides, they will be hoping their second encounter against a South African team will have a happier outcome than their last-gasp loss to the Sharks in round two.

Brumbies co-captain Sam Carter admits the statistics don't make for pretty reading.

"It is pretty doom and gloom at the moment," Carter said.

"Obviously it's pretty easy to write negative things in the press (rather) than happy things, but at the moment there's not too many happy things to write.

"We're just focusing on what we can do down here to get a positive result."

The Brumbies have played the Lions just once since 2012, making video analysis key to getting a handle on the opposition.

"We've got to attack them at their set-piece," Carter said.

"Their scrum is very good, their line-out is very good and across the park they run all day.

"If we can control the ball and make sure we execute what we're doing, it's mainly about us."

Carter said lack of possession had stymied the Brumbies' desire to play a more attacking style in losses to the Blues and Hurricanes.

"We've definitely worked on that - making sure we're more clinical out of our own half so we get the chance to attack when we get in the other half," Carter said.

The Brumbies welcome back Wallabies centre Kyle Godwin and No. 8 Jordan Smiler from injury, while experienced prop Ben Alexander, fullback Aidan Toua and flanker Jarrad Butler return to the starting line-up.

On the second leg of their Australian tour, the Johannesburg-based Lions have also made five changes to the starting XV which helped destroy the Rebels last week.

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