The ACT Brumbies will overhaul their half-time routine in a bid to reverse an alarming trend and statistic, which threatens to derail their season in Christchurch on Saturday.
The Brumbies are the equal worst team in Super Rugby for conceding tries in the 20 minutes immediately after half-time in six games so far this year.
A lack of spark and concentration after regrouping at half-time has cost the Brumbies dearly and has been a major factor in losing four of six games, putting them in danger of slipping out of finals contention.
Coach Dan McKellar says that must change against the Canterbury Crusaders when the Brumbies attempt to end an almost 20-year drought in Christchurch this weekend.
McKellar will name his team on Thursday and is expected to rest Folau Faingaa, Scott Sio and Rory Arnold from the crucial trans-Tasman clash.
David Pocock will to be ruled out for the third consecutive game, meaning he the star flanker will have played just one full game this year. But there will be a boost with the return of prop Allan Alaalatoa, who has recovered from a wrist injury and is set to join the team on the flight to New Zealand.
Faingaa's absence will open the door for veteran hooker Josh Mann-Rea to start his first game in more than 12 months after his hamstring snapped off the bone in March last year.
The 38-year-old will be one of several changes to the Brumbies side, which will be determined to make amends for its poor effort against Queensland two weeks ago and breakthrough for a win in New Zealand.
Personnel changes are one thing, but McKellar also has his eyes on turning around some woeful numbers which have contributed to a slow start to the year.
The Brumbies and the Japan Sunwolves share the unwanted statistic of being the worst teams in the second half of games, both conceding nine tries in the 20 minutes after a break.
The Brumbies are also the third worst team for missed tackles and the third worst for tackle completion percentage.
Thinking it can't get any worse? The Brumbies made a staggering 19 handling errors and missed 30 tackles against Queensland.
"We've identified the starts to second halves. Our leaders have spoken about it and we'll tweak a couple of things around what we do at half-time," McKellar said.
"We want to make some adjustments there to make sure we get a better performance in that period. It's your individual efforts, some guys sit down at half-time and get a bit leg heavy because it is a 12-minute break.
"Individually you've got to make sure you're all ready to go at the start of the second half. There's no magicRead More – Source