The Melbourne Rebels are hellbent on rattling the ACT Brumbies at the set piece in search of a Super Rugby AU boilover against the reigning champions.
Wallabies coach Dave Rennie was on hand at Rebels training at RMC's Portsea Oval in Canberra this week as he does the rounds to Australia's five clubs.
Rennie was casting an eye over the Rebels squad as Dave Wessels' outfit look to bounce back from last week's heartbreak when they face the Brumbies at Canberra Stadium on Saturday.
Upsetting the rampaging competition favourites looms as no mean feat but Rebels hooker Ed Craig says establishing early dominance in the forwards will go a long way towards silencing the Brumbies.
The home side's star-studded forward pack takes immense pride in its lineout and maul but 24-year-old Craig says "there's no team" the Rebels would rather challenge.
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"They're definitely the benchmark for set piece in Australia at the moment," Craig said.
"That gives us the motivation to really go at them, there's no team we would rather really rattle than the Brumbies' set piece. It's just a bit more motivation knowing they're the benchmark.
"They like to get penalties, march us down the field and get over us with set piece so we're looking to disrupt that.
"The set piece was good [last week], we have a little bit to work on but we've got some good plans for this week.
"Matching their scrum and getting a few scrum penalties against the Reds has really helped the boys get some confidence, so we'll be expecting some good signs."
The Rebels have been based in the ACT for almost a month after scrambling out of Victoria to avoid a lockdown. At one point 71 people were at their Canberra base including players, staff and families.
A Brumbies clash will be followed by a trip to Perth on Sunday night, where they will spend the week before taking on the Western Force.
Then comes the long-awaited return home on a flight via Adelaide, with the cars left behind in Canberra to be taken to Melbourne on a truck.
SUPER RUGBY AU ROUND THREE
Saturday: ACT Brumbies v Melbourne Rebels at Canberra Stadium, 7.45pm. Broadcast: Live on Gem and Stan Sport. Tickets from Ticketek.
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