They felt it when they moved from Canberra to Brisbane 12 years ago and twins Anthony and Saia Fainga’a say the rivalry has only grown due to the tribal nature of Super Rugby AU.
The Reds and Brumbies will meet for the second year in a row, with Suncorp Stadium set to near full capacity on Saturday for the busiest rugby match on the pitch in nearly a decade.
The Brumbies narrowly won last year’s title, but have lost two equally close clashes to the Reds this season in spicy contests.
The Fainga’a brothers fondly remember the Reds’ only Super Rugby Championship in 2011, having left the Brumbies for Ballymore three years earlier.
“They let us go, said ‘Anthony you’re no good’ and now there have been a lot of words between these two teams now,” said Anthony Fainga’a on Wednesday.
“But you go where you have the opportunity and now the national competition itself is really allowing that tribalism to develop.
“When we came to the Reds (in 2009) we were the last and there are similarities with this team.
“Last year they were struck off and this year they won every game except one, they have everything to play and such great talent.”
Brumbies coach Dan McKellar was happy to take on the underdog role earlier this week and it came as no surprise to Saia Fainga’a.
“The Brumbies have been underdogs since they started,” he said.
“It’s going to be a great game … the Reds, they are exciting, people want to come and are invigorated.”