The Brumbies don’t have long to lick their wounds after a gutting Super Rugby AU final loss, set to face New Zealand champions the Crusaders on Saturday.
Allan Alaalatoa was hoping to compare title-winning tales with brother Michael when the pair clash in Round 1 of the Super Rugby Trans-Tasman competition this coming Saturday.
Instead, the Brumbies captain will quickly lick his wounds and prepare for another mammoth task after his men lost a gutting Super Rugby AU final 19-16 to Queensland Reds on Saturday.
The Brumbies led 16-12 at fulltime and, with two men in the bin, defended mightily for five minutes until the Reds finally crossed through James O’Connor for the match-winner in front of almost 42,000 fans at Suncorp Stadium.
The Brumbies were crushed and frustrated at a 20-8 penalty count but quickly need to move on ahead of three consecutive away games against the Crusaders, Chiefs and Blues.
Allan’s brother Michael’s Crusaders defied a similar two-man shortage late in their clash with the Chiefs to defend their Super Rugby Aotearoa crown on Saturday.
“The boys were flying in everywhere; we’re all shattered, emptied the tank for 85 minutes,” the Brumbies prop said.
“Down to 13 men and holding them out for so long; it’s important that the boys get around each other tonight to enjoy, reflect.
“We’ll jump back on the horse and what a challenge we have, to verse the champs of Super Rugby Aotearoa, the team that’s been setting the standard in Super Rugby.”
Coach Dan McKellar applauded the Reds and the rivalry driving the spectacle but was again left puzzled by some late officiating after losing a third close game to Queensland this season.
“Just as long as everyone’s accountable for their performance out there tonight,” he said.
“I know the players are and the coaches are.
“With 13 blokes in the end it just became incredibly tough to hold them out…it was an interesting game to watch.”