Brumbies moving on from scrappy win

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

The Brumbies are through to the Super Rugby finals and coach Stephen Larkham says anything that came before is irrelevant.

A 24-10 win over the Force, including a scoreless second half, wasn’t exactly comprehensive but Larkham said his side would be moving on pretty quickly.

“It's what we do this week now,” he said.

“I think you have your ups and downs in the tournament and certainly the second half was a half that we're not particularly happy with but it's all irrelevant now, it's about putting that behind you, taking the things that you can take out of it and moving on to the next job.”

That next job is a quarter-final against the Highlanders in Canberra, a side the Brumbies lost to in Invercargill earlier this season.

The Brumbies lost to the Highlanders earlier this year. Photo: Getty ImagesLarkham said his team had learned from that game,  played without co-captain Stephen Moore.

“In wet conditions we attacked really well, we probably didn't kick as well as we should have and they probably found a bit better balance with their kicking game,” he said.

“We certainly reviewed that game and learned from it but we've had our troubles with the New Zealand teams.

“We'll make sure that our preparation, like every week, is as good as it can be so that, one, we learn from those mistakes  and, two, give ourselves the best opportunity to play well.”

While Larkham admitted Saturday night’s result was disappointing in some senses, the Brumbies do lay claim to a new Super Rugby record - the first Australian team to beat every other Australian team in one season since 2007.

Christian Lealiifano says the Brumbies can improve. Photo: Getty ImagesHeading into Saturday night’s game, the Brumbies’ finals equation was clear and only a losing bonus point was required but Lealiifano said that didn't affect their mindset.

“We came in with a clear focus and a plan with the way we wanted to play and I guess that's what's probably the most disappointing is that we didn't really execute what we wanted to,” he said.

"But we've got another week to prepare now and get it right next week.”

Lealiifano said his side’s inability to finish was in large part down to their opponents, the Force, who made the game a grind as they tend to  do.

“I think our attack got a bit lost at times there and as a game controller it was disappointing on my end to not boss the boys around enough,” he said.

The Brumbies should welcome back David Pocock for their knockout clash against the Highlanders next Friday night, after the flanker broke his eye socket in the June Test series.

Pocock trained with the team last week and Larkham is awaiting medical clearance to name him.