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Giants in war of aggression

Date

Chris Dutton

Brumbies players, Fotu Auelua and Ita Vaea .

Brumbies players, Fotu Auelua and Ita Vaea . Photo: Melissa Adams

Fotu Auelua and Ita Vaea have promised to unleash a 229-kilogram Islander tag team of aggression when they get their chance to take on Australia's premier No.8 on Saturday night.

The rapidly developing combination will face its biggest test this season when they go up against Wycliff Palu and the NSW Waratahs at Canberra Stadium.

Palu has been one of the Waratahs' best this year and - when not injured - has been the Wallabies' first-choice No.8 in recent years.

Few can match Palu's aggression and power ball running.

But Auelua has fast established himself as one of the most feared players in the competition with his brutal defence and devastating runs.

When the 121kg Samoan gets tired, the Brumbies inject 108kg Tongan powerhouse Vaea to finish the opposition off and the scariest thing is Auelua says they're yet to reach their best as wrecking-ball partners.

Palu is 118kg and will be forced to deal with a constant onslaught from his two Islander opponents.

The Wallabies veteran was one of Auelua's ''idols'' when the Brumbies recruit was in the Waratahs Academy in 2006.

Auelua, 28, has tried to mould his game around Palu's and he has had an immediate impact in his three Super Rugby games.

He made some bone-crunching tackles against the Johannesburg Lions and sent defenders flying backwards when he ran the ball.

''Whether it's Ita starting or me on the bench, it doesn't bother me and I think we're going well,'' Auelua said.

''I think it's something we can make even better and the impact Ita brings into the game is enormous.

''We're similar in some areas, Ita reads the game well and is good on the ball, that's something I have to improve on.

''Cliffy is still No.1 in Australia in my eyes so it's going to be an awesome experience going up against him.''

Brumbies coach Jake White will name his team tomorrow for the grudge match against their arch-rivals.

It is likely White will name a relatively unchanged line-up with skipper Ben Mowen coming back from injury and Sam Carter a chance to return to the starting XV.

Vaea - who is poised to sign a new deal to remain in Canberra - is in his second Super Rugby campaign.

He burst on to the scene last year as a rookie and his aggressive style drew comparisons with Wallabies great Toutai Kefu. But with Ben Mowen and Auelua also capable of filling the No.8 duties, Vaea has taken on a different role this year.

When he came off the bench against the Pretoria Bulls two weeks ago, he caused havoc and had a major hand in the Brumbies' three second-half tries.

The 23-year-old is keen to take on a bigger workload but says he's happy biding his time as an impact player.

''I think my form has been consistent coming off the bench and Fotu is a good player too,'' Vaea said.

''We always talk to each other to give feedback so we're both working hard … I'm enjoying the second half and trying to give the boys some momentum.

''I try to wake them up when they're tired so I try to be a spark so we can go for the full 80 minutes.

''Absolutely I feel more comfortable, last year was a good experience and this year I know what my job is and what I have to do around the field.''

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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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