Close enough not good enough for Brumbies

The Brumbies are clinging to the Australian conference lead but lock Blake Enever knows they can’t afford another tight loss when they face the Lions.

Four points clear of the Waratahs heading into round 12, the Brumbies have six bonus points, five from matches lost by just 22 points combined.

While they have the safety blanket that NSW is on a bye this week, Enever admitted tight losses were an issue they needed to rectify.

“We’ve got to finish a game strong,” he said.

“It’s just little things throughout the game, can’t quite put a finger on it all but we’ve just got to pick up our performance and put those behind us and be more clinical.

“Some major decisions throughout the game that we’ve looked back and know for the future what we’d do differently.

“We’ve learned from it and hopefully we’ll fix those things that we’ve done wrong in the past.”

Up against the powerhouse Lions on Friday night, the Brumbies have a chance to clinch their first win over international opponents in 2017, a feat that has come just three times this year for Australian teams.

The Brumbies were mere spectators of yet another winless Australian weekend but winger Henry Speight said they couldn’t let the record preoccupy them.

“Our main focus is us and trying to put a good performance and stay on top of our conference because that will put us in good spot for playoffs but there’s a lot of outside noise about Australian rugby,” he said.

“We go well against our domestic teams but it’s always a good test if you can go out and perform against international opposition.

“This week’s no different – there’s a lot of Springboks in the Lions team and they’ve been consistently playing well.

“It’s a test but it’s a good challenge for us.”

The Lions will put the Brumbies’ defence to the test yet again and Enever said they would need to be ready for that.

“You’ve got to match them with aggression,” he said.

“They’re a big team that love running the ball so we’ve got to get up there in defence and try to slow them down and shut their options down a lot.”

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The Brumbies head to South Africa and Argentina after this weekend’s litmus test, before a rematch with the Rebels ahead of the June Test break.

The Brumbies host the Lions on Friday night, kicking off at 7:45pm AEST LIVE on FOX SPORTS and via radio on