SUPER RUGBY BRUMBIES WARATAHS
The Brumbies say the coronavirus crowd measures has made them even more motivated for Sunday's Super Rugby derby clash with the Waratahs - the last before Australian fans are locked out.
Ahead of their afternoon match at GIO Stadium, Brumbies captain Allan Alaalatoa says his team want to put on show for fans ahead of the government's indefinite ban on mass gatherings.
"It's a weird one but everyone in charge has still said it's safe for everyone to come out tomorrow," Alaalatoa said on Saturday.
"It might be the last one that our fans see their boys play for a little while.
"To know that maybe our next home game we might be playing in front of an empty stadium it does give you motivation and the boys will looking to put on a good performance for everyone."
The conference-leading Brumbies have only lost once in five matches while the Waratahs have only had one win, but Alaalatoa expected the NSW team to throw everything at the contest.
Last round the Waratahs suffered a second-half collapse to fall to the Chiefs and Alaalatoa said they would be out to make amends against their arch rivals.
"You're always looking to rectify your performance if you've come off a loss and I know that they will be hurting and I know that they always show up against the Brumbies," he said.
"When we play the Waratahs we always take it up a notch."
The Brumbies will be without prop Scott Sio, who will undergo hand surgery, so fellow Wallabies prop James Slipper is in the starting line-up.
Waratahs lock Tom Staniforth said his struggling team, who welcome skipper Rob Simmons back from an ankle injury, were up for the challenge.
"I think through history both sides have been in and out of form and his game is always close and always tough," Staniforth said.
"It doesn't matter what the stakes are and where we are on the ladder or what's going on, it's a Brumbies-Tahs match and it's always close and it's always tough."