Brumbies on the front foot for Force clash

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

A brutally honest debrief will rid Canberra of the “timid” Brumbies that ran out in Auckland last week, Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham says.

The Brumbies let the Blues race out to an early lead last week, ultimately a 40-15 loss, and Larkham said his charges had to change their mentality against the Force, with a finals spot on the line.

“The mindset for us if just to turn around from last week,” he said.

“We were a little bit passive and timid and waiting to see what the opposition would throw at us.

“This week, we just want to be a little bit more on the front foot."

After their Auckland loss, Larkham said the players took centre stage in the post-match review session.

“We did review a little bit differently this week,” he said.

“The players took control of it and had a good look at themselves in smaller groups and I think they were very honest.

“They presented in the team meeting in front of everyone and the groups were all sort of on the same page in terms of it wasn't the start that we wanted.”

The Brumbies couldn't stop the Blues early last week. Photo: Getty ImagesThe Brumbies will be without David Pocock for another week, though he ran with the team of training this week, and Larkham said there was no temptation to rush the superstar flanker back despite the stakes.

“We're always guided by the doctors and physios, he said.

“I think we've always got the players’ best interest at heart.

“Players are pretty keen to get out there and play and for the case of Poey, we're trying to hold him back that extra week just to give him that extra bit of healing.

“He's keen to get out there and play this weekend but we've got to do what's right with the player.”

The Brumbies have had eight days to prepare, their longest break for much of the year, and co-captain Stephen Moore said that was the easiest way to ensure an attitude change.

“This is probably the first week we've had a full training week for a fair while, definitely since before the Test series,” he said.

“That's been really helpful to have a full week of training, get a bit of contact done early in the week and get that intensity into our training and I think when we do that, it translates into our performance.

“So, that's the only way you can do it is to prepare during the week, like you want to play."