Super Rugby
Brumbies say travel not an issue in defeat
June 27, 2015
Hurricanes 29-9 Brumbies (Australia only)

The Brumbies were quick to dismiss their torturous travel schedule as an excuse for their 29-9 Super Rugby semi-final loss to the Hurricanes in Wellington. The Australian side was outclassed by the Hurricanes seven days after producing a stunning performance to defeat the Stormers in Cape Town, maintaining a woeful record for teams forced to travel in the play-offs.

The Crusaders of 1999 are the only team to clinch a title after finishing outside the top two teams, who earn home advantage for the semi-finals, but Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham was content with his players' fitness levels.

"The travel's really not that hard," Larkham said. "The fact you miss some valuable training days probably hurts you more than anything. The last two weeks we've had two training runs. But the combination's there and our fitness base was there."

Larkham, who said that fatigue was brought on only by the Hurricanes' high-octane style, believes Super Rugby does not need to change the structure of the finals, in which history has seemingly rendered results predictable.

"Everyone knows what the competition rules are at the start of the year and you play towards that," he said. "Our boys pushed as hard as they could. There was nothing left in the tank and when you come up against a side like the Hurricanes, who certainly play very laterally and make you work defensively, it fatigues you pretty quickly."

© AAP

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