Rugby Union

Brumbies brewing a 'perfect storm' towards Super Rugby title: Greg Martin

Brumbies co-captain Stephen Moore is leading the Super Rugby title favourites.
Brumbies co-captain Stephen Moore is leading the Super Rugby title favourites. Photo: Morne de Klerk

A "perfect storm" is brewing in Canberra with former Wallaby Greg Martin confident the ACT Brumbies have all the ingredients in place to end a 12-year Super Rugby title drought.

Martin says if the Brumbies come away from their South Africa tour with one win from their two games, then they will be perfectly poised in their title charge.

The Brumbies head to South Africa undefeated after the opening three rounds and face the Cape Town Stormers on Sunday morning before travelling to Bloemfontein to take on the Free State Cheetahs a week later.

Their perfect start to the season, which includes wins over last year's grand finalists, the Wellington Hurricanes, arch-rivals NSW Waratahs and the Western Force, has seen their price to win the title halve from $7.50 to just $3.75 and outright favouritism.

Martin said the term "premiership window" described the Brumbies perfectly, having built from when Jake White was in charge to a team that now has coach Stephen Larkham's "flamboyance".

He said it all pointed towards the Brumbies mounting a charge deep into the Super Rugby finals.

"The term they always use, and I hang around a few AFL people, is championship window and it's the perfect explanation of what's going on," Martin said.

"They've built up nicely, they've lost very few players and they've got the hardness.

"The simplicity that Jake White introduced was elaborated on by Laurie Fisher getting the forwards organised – the legacy of that is [David Pocock] and Stephen Moore – and then you've got the flamboyance and the organisation of Stephen Larkham, who is now a wonderful head coach in his own right.

"All the ingredients are there for the perfect storm for them."

The Brumbies' first match of their South African tour shapes as their hardest, against the Stormers in Cape Town.

The Stormers are fourth on the ladder, three points behind the ladder-leading Brumbies, following their 18-13 loss to the Durban Sharks on Sunday morning.

Martin felt the Brumbies should be too strong for the Cheetahs the following week and a win against the Stormers would see them return to Australia still undefeated after five rounds.

He said the three-week trip, which included beating the Force in Perth, would make a cohesive unit even closer.

"This could be the making of them, the next two weeks ... one [win] out of two would be enough, both games won would be a wonderful push for them as they make their way to the top," he said.

"One win would be enough. They'll squish the Cheetahs ... the Stormers will be the tough one."

Martin praised the impact Brumbies defensive coach Peter Ryan had made on the group and said the team would not "dare to miss a tackle".

He said winger Joe Tomane, who is off to France at the end of the season, had started the season with real "zest" after scoring two tries in the opening three games.

Martin also thought co-captain Christian Lealiifano had been brilliant at flyhalf this season, having taken the playmaking reins over from Matt Toomua, who has shifted to inside centre.

The only area Martin felt the Brumbies needed to improve on was at fullback, where he felt Aidan Toua was struggling.

Martin said the return of Robbie Coleman from a calf injury, which hindered the Queanbeyan product's pre-season, could bolster the Brumbies backline.

"Toua needs to improve. I've been a bit disappointed ... he hasn't found his way in the team," he said.

"They've given him a fair old roll, some times at first receiver, and they wanted that left-foot kicking, but I get the feeling Robbie Coleman will take that position and it might actually improve the Brumbies."

SUPER RUGBY ROUND 4

Sunday: ACT Brumbies v Cape Town Stormers at Newlands, 4.15am. Live on Fox Sports 2.