Toni Pulu is known for his speed, not his power. But the ACT Brumbies winger is willing to use his shoulders at the back of a rolling maul to score tries as long if it helps the team stay in Super Rugby finals contention.
That's why the man regarded as one of the fastest players in the competition wants his teammates to forget any criticism and keep using their maul weapon to stay in the play-off race.
The Brumbies and Melbourne Rebels are locked on 24 points at the top of the Australian conference, but the NSW Waratahs and Queensland Reds are also in contention for a guaranteed ticket to the finals.
New Rugby Australia director of rugby Scott Johnson was in Canberra on Tuesday to meet with Brumbies coach staff. At the top of his list would have been the secrets to their maul, which has been almost unstoppable and delivered 12 of their 39 tries.
An overlooked statistic is the Brumbies are also one of the only teams yet to concede a try from a maul this season, but they've still attracted some criticism for the perception of their style.
MORE CANBERRA SPORT
There are, however, those praising the Brumbies for the way they're playing. Like former Brumbies skipper Stephen Hoiles, who said the ACT side was the only Australian team capable of a "deep run in the finals" because of the strength of their set piece.
But the Brumbies players and coaches are unfazed by external noise, highlighted by winger Pulu's willingness to add his muscle to the maul when needed.
Brumbies hooker Folau Faingaa has been the major beneficiary, scoring 10 tries in 10 games to be the competitions leading try-scorer.
The fact they've won two of the past three games without players including David Pocock, Lachlan McCaffrey and Rob Valetini has boosted confidence for the final stages of the season.
"We're winning. People might say it's boring, but we're scoring tries and the maul is one of our strengths. We'll go to it if we have to, we're just happy we're winning," Pulu said.
"I try to stay out of the maul, but I did lend my shoulder once and I'll get in there if we need it."
The Brumbies need to continue their winning momentum to stay with the Australian leaders. Their path to the finals is complicated by a bye, leaving them with five games to get ladder points while the Rebels, Waratahs and Reds have six games remaining.
There will be a return to afternoon rugby when they host the Japan Sunwolves at Canberra Stadium on Sunday, with the club offering free children's tickets and throwing the gates open for fans on the field in the hope of attracting a big crowd.
Lock Rory Arnold is in danger of missing the game after injuring his ankle last week, but his absence could be offset by the return of Lachlan McCaffrey and Rob Valetini. David Pocock is at least one more week away from training despite being a waterboy.
Darcy Swain, Blake Enever and Murray Douglas will be the options to replace Arnold if he is ruled out. "We're confident the next guy can step up and stake his claim," Douglas said. "[Winning close games] gives you a lot of confidence. Heading into the back-end of the season where you need to win, hopefully we can keep at it."
SUPER RUGBY ROUND 13
Sunday: ACT Brumbies v Japan Sunwolves at Canberra Stadium, 4.05pm. Tickets available from Ticketek.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.