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Brumbies-Waratahs fierce rivalry fueled by pay inequality

Rod Kafer playing for the Brumbies in 2000.

Rod Kafer playing for the Brumbies in 2000. Photo: Paul Harris

It is the fiercest rivalry in Australian rugby, fueled by the NSW Waratahs boasting double the wages of the ACT Brumbies "rejects" in Super Rugby's early days and it still holds true today.

Brumbies legend Rod Kafer said the ACT men and Waratahs had never liked each other and a pay inequality that failed to shift despite the Brumbies being the better team had only increased the tension.

Wallabies fullback Israel Folau's contract with the Australian Rugby Union ensures the Harbour City's team still earns more today.

Kafer said the Waratahs had been the best side all season, but with that came the weight of expectation and added pressure.

"NSW and Queensland in those early days had twice the player bill of what the Brumbies had for the same number of players," Kafer said. "The Wallabies players of the time were in NSW and Queensland.

"Over the first two years of Super Rugby, we finished in front of NSW and we thought the balance should've shifted, but it took a while to shift – it took a long while ... and that always in a professional game, where your value is largely determined by the price you're paid, that certainly irked many players."

Brumbies director of rugby Laurie Fisher said "physicality will be king" when the rivalry continues at Allianz Stadium on Saturday night.

The Waratahs bashed the Brumbies when they played in June. Coach Michael Cheika has signalled their intentions to do the same by naming a forwards-heavy bench, and only two backs are among the eight reserves.

"The Waratahs carry strong and they carry quick, we need to challenge them at set-piece and be better than we were defensively last time," Fisher said. "It needs to be a challenge where the collision is. It's a wonderful rivalry, in sport your closest neighbour is your strongest rival. The effort has to be driven by emotion, but it has to be controlled as well. I've never enjoyed my rugby so much."

The Brumbies play what is perceived as a conservative style, but they have scored 10 tries in the past two games.

"We've had the weaponry all year, it's just about using it. We might as well get it out and have a crack, because there is no next week," Fisher said. "What you got, you might as well put it on show. Last time we played we attempted 228 tackles, they attempted 105 tackles. Physicality is going to be king."

Brumbies skipper Ben Mowen said the team's finals experience would bode well for the biggest derby since NSW played the ACT in a semi-final in 2002.

"We feel relaxed, we take a lot of confidence of two knockout games we've played ... we've won four of the five finals games over the past two years," Mowen said. "Finals is when we play our best footy, we know we can perform under pressure."

Rugby World Cup 2015

Round 1
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG 0vs FJI 0 05:00Twic
TGA 0vs GEO 0 21:00Kholm
IRE 0vs CAN 0 23:30MilS
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs JPN 0 01:45Brig
FRA 0vs ITA 0 05:00Twic
SAM 0vs USA 0 21:00Brig
WAL 0vs URU 0 23:30MilS
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs ARG 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 0vs JPN 0 23:30Kholm
Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
AUS 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs ROM 0 05:00Olym
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs NAM 0 05:00Olym
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 0vs GEO 0 01:45Kholm
ITA 0vs CAN 0 23:30Ella
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SAM 0 01:45Villa
ENG 0vs WAL 0 05:00Twic
AUS 0vs URU 0 21:00Villa
SCO 0vs USA 0 23:30Ella
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 0vs ROM 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 0vs NAM 0 01:45Sand
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs CAN 0 05:00stadium:mk
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs GEO 0 05:00MilS
SAM 0vs JPN 0 23:30stadium:mk
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SCO 0 01:45St James' Park
ENG 0vs AUS 0 06:00Twic
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 0vs TGA 0 00:30KPS
IRE 0vs ITA 0 02:45Olym
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 0vs ROM 0 02:45KPS
FJI 0vs URU 0 06:00stadium:mk
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 0vs USA 0 02:45Olym
NAM 0vs GEO 0 06:00Sand
Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
NZL 0vs TGA 0 06:00St James' Park
Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAM 0vs SCO 0 00:30St James' Park
AUS 0vs WAL 0 02:45Twic
ENG 0vs URU 0 06:00Manch
ARG 0vs NAM 0 22:00KPS
Mon, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
ITA 0vs ROM 0 00:30Sand
FRA 0vs IRE 0 02:45MilS
USA 0vs JPN 0 06:00Kholm
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinB 0vs RUpA 0 02:00Twic
WinC 0vs RUpD 0 06:00MilS
WinD 0vs RUpC 0 23:00MilS
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinA 0vs RUpB 0 02:00Twic
Sun, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF1 0vs WQF2 0 02:00Twic
Mon, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF3 0vs WQF4 0 03:00Twic
Sat, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
LSF1 0vs LSF2 0 07:00Olym
Sun, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
WSF1 0vs WSF2 0 03:00Twic
View All Fixtures
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
France 0 0 0 0 0 0
New Zealand 0 0 0 0 0 0
Canada 0 0 0 0 0 0
Tonga 0 0 0 0 0 0
Japan 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Romania 0 0 0 0 0 0
Argentina 0 0 0 0 0 0
England 0 0 0 0 0 0
Georgia 0 0 0 0 0 0
Scotland 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 0 0 0 0 0 0
USA 0 0 0 0 0 0
Italy 0 0 0 0 0 0
Ireland 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Fiji 0 0 0 0 0 0
Samoa 0 0 0 0 0 0
Namibia 0 0 0 0 0 0
South Africa 0 0 0 0 0 0
Wales 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
 

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