Brumbies set for Naisarani return to rugby

·2-min read

The Brumbies are expecting the Melbourne Rebels' returning Test backrower Isi Naisarani to bring a physical edge to their crunch Super Rugby AU clash at AAMI Park on Sunday afternoon.

After off-season knee surgery, Naisarani will make his first appearance of the season off the bench as Melbourne aim to lock down a berth in the three-team finals.

The Brumbies and the Queensland Reds are already finals-bound but want to go into the finals with some winning momentum.

The back-row of Michael Wells, Richard Hardwick and Josh Kemeny has been a strength of the Rebels but the team welcome the impact of the hulking No.8, with the Brumbies on guard for it.

"He's (Naisarani) someone who will probably bring physicality," Brumbies skipper Allan Alaalatoa said on Saturday.

"He just plays off the cuff, he's someone who can create something out of nothing so we definitely know he's going to get some good game time and add a bit of spark.

"We've spoken about how we're going to nullify that."

In their most recent meeting, Ryan Lonergan kicked a penalty after the siren to secure a win for the Brumbies, so Alaalatoa said the Rebels would be out to make amends.

Melbourne also blew a golden chance to cement a finals spot last week when the Western Force scored in the 76th minute to win the match and keep alive their own hopes.

Vice-captain Wells, who has done a stellar job in No.8 jersey, said the take away from that match was that they had the right game plan but just needed to execute better.

"We weren't necessarily beaten; we beat ourselves," Wells told AAP.

"We didn't play to our structure and missed a lot of opportunities, we had 12 entrances to the opposition 22 and came away with zero tries.

"It's on us players to perform."

He said Melbourne wanted to take control of their destiny rather than leave it until the final round against the Waratahs.

"You definitely want to win every game and would there be less pressure on the last round if we win this one, of course," Wells said.

"You don't want to go into a final on the back of a loss anyway so our destiny is in our own hands and we want to win two from two.

"We can do that, we just need to perform, which we haven't shown consistently."