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Brumbies still Super hurt over Rebels loss

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 31/05/2017

Joe Powell Powell looks set to win his first Test cap in Australia's June Tests against Fiji, Scotland and Italy. © AAP Image/SNPA, Ross Setford Joe Powell Powell looks set to win his first Test cap in Australia's June Tests against Fiji, Scotland and Italy. With the pain of last month's upset loss to the Melbourne Rebels still fresh, the Brumbies can avenge the defeat and clinch the Australian Super Rugby conference in one fell swoop.

The Brumbies are buoyant after picking up victories against the Kings in Port Elizabeth and the Jaguares in Buenos Aires in the past two weeks.

The 39-15 thrashing of Argentina's Super Rugby outfit on Sunday morning was the Brumbies' biggest outside of Australia in 15 years and propelled them nine points clear of the NSW Waratahs with three regular season matches to play.

The Waratahs' slim finals hopes lie with snapping a 25-game losing streak for Australian sides playing New Zealand opposition in their clash with the Chiefs in Hamilton and the Rebels pulling off a second shock defeat of the Brumbies this season.

Halfback Joe Powell said they haven't forgotten the Rebels' grinding 19-17 win over them in round eight ahead of Saturday night's local derby in Canberra.

"We're still hurting from the last time the Rebels beat us," Powell said.

"That was a massive upset. We were pretty disappointed with how we played that game."

Powell looks set to win his first Test cap in Australia's June Tests against Fiji, Scotland and Italy after being named in the Wallabies' 34-man squad.

He and winger Henry Speight are among eight Brumbies who will join the Wallabies on Sunday.

"For us, it's trying to make sure we nail this game going into the June break," Speight said.

The two sides' clash earlier in the season was played days after the ARU announced either the Rebels or the Western Force would be wound up at the end of the season.

"There was a lot of emotion," Speight said.

With their fight for survival on-going, the Rebels are playing to avoid the conference wooden spoon.

And Speight says the Brumbies will be drawing on some emotion of their own, with prop Ben Alexander poised to surpass club legend George Smith as the franchise's most capped player.

We'd really like to reward him with a win because he's deserved it and he's one of the best guys to have around the squad," Speight said.

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