The ACT Brumbies have been in fine try-scoring form in the last three rounds. Photo: actnathan.gilson
RUNNING rugby is back and the ACT Brumbies hope their try-scoring spree over the past three weeks earns their attack the respect they have been craving.
In an amazing break from the Super Rugby trend, the Brumbies have scored 16 tries in their past three games, 11 of those on their two-game tour of South Africa.
They scored six tries in their 34-20 rout against the Johannesburg Lions yesterday morning, a week after they scored five tries to two but lost to the Pretoria Bulls and two weeks after they ran in five tries against the Melbourne Rebels.
Not since the Brumbies' golden era of the early 2000s, which yielded two championships, has the team been such an attacking threat.
And while their opposition settle for penalty goals, the Brumbies are setting a blistering try-scoring pace after nine games.
They need just six more tries to eclipse last year's tally and have already won more games than they did in the entire 2011 campaign.
Adding to their impressive attacking record is the fact their defence is equally as strong. They have conceded just four tries in three weeks and are letting in less than two five-pointers a game.
Backs coach and club great Stephen Larkham is leaving his imprint on the team with strong set plays and the ability to score from any position on the field.
It's something the Brumbies have struggled to do in recent years, even with attacking threats like Matt Giteau, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Stirling Mortlock and Mark Gerrard.
Winger Henry Speight scored a double against the Lions and believes opposition teams will start taking notice of the Brumbies' attack.
''We're improving every week and there's a good feeling now and the confidence is building,'' Speight said.
''The 16 tries in three games, most of the boys don't even know that stat.
''It's not something we focus on.
''It's a good thing if other teams are looking at us and a sign we're getting some respect which we all know we didn't deserve or have at the start of the season.
''I've just wanted a bit of space all season, some one-on-one chances and it's great to get the ball in hand.''