Brumbies coach Laurie Fisher has earmarked his side’s upcoming Super 14 clash with the Hurricanes as a must-win encounter.
The Brumbies are delicately poised in seventh position on the ladder after four rounds of competition – with two wins and two losses – and Fisher believes this weekend’s match could have a serious impact on the team’s season.
"To go into the bye four (wins) and two (losses) would be a fantastic result for us," said Fisher.
"They are two home games and you just can’t afford to drop home games – that’s the challenge for us.
"Home games are absolutely crucial, and this year as much as any year. The next two games pre-bye are very important to our season."
A mounting injury list has proved to be a major reason behind the Brumbies’ indifferent start to the 2008 campaign.
Adam Ashley-Cooper (ankle), Peter Betham (foot), Alister Campbell (knee), Anthony Faingaa (knee), Gene Fairbanks (neck), Julian Huxley (brain tumour), Stirling Mortlock (shoulder), Clyde Rathbone (knee) and Guy Shepherdson (hamstring) remain unavailable this weekend.
However, despite the long list of absentees, the ACT side will experience some stability in round five in the form of their first unchanged starting line-up of the season – something that Fisher regards as extremely important.
"It would’ve been nice to put (the) same XV back on the park after a win, but to get some continuity in training and continuity in performance would be beneficial," Fisher said.
"There’s a good desire to get back on the horse after last week, there’s a good intention in the team and hopefully that will reflect in a good performance."