Larkham's Brumbies ride rollercoaster of emotions

Super Rugby
by Sam Phillips

Not only was it the win the Brumbies desperately needed, it was the win they dearly deserved.

After two losses by a combined margin of nine points to start 2017, coach Stephen Larkham and captain Sam Carter cut relieved figures immediately after their 25-17 win against the Force last night.

The Canberrians looked bound for another bonus point loss before Ross Haylett-Petty's yellow card turned the game on its head with 10 to play, the home side scoring two tries to notch a tough win.

"There’s a good feeling in the group at the moment," Larkham said.

"It was certainly an emotional rollercoaster through that game but we showed much better composure at the end and superb execution to finish the game off the way we wanted to finish it off.Joe Powell has impressed at halfback for the Brumbies. Photo: Getty Images"We’re not getting ahead of ourselves but we will certainly enjoy that victory because it’s been a long time coming."

Larkham's faith in the halves pairing of Joe Powell and Wharenui Hawera is paying dividends, as the combination starts to gel as he envisioned.

"Our halves has been fantastic in all three games so far but I think we learned some lessons as a group and lessons you probably wouldn’t learn in your first two games of the season," he said.

"They’re quick learners.

"We’re very happy with the way we played and I think our discipline was superb tonight."There's a good vibe in Canberra after last night's win. Photo: Getty ImagesThe coach was also quick to compliment the cool head of new co-captain Carter.

"Carts is doing a fantastic job leading and he has composure all the time," he said.

"The boys feed off that and there was never any stage over the last three weeks where we lost our confidence or our direction."

Larkham said Scott Fardy would be refreshed after the week off but stopped short of declaring him a certainty to start in round four.

He added that he was impressed with the performance of Fardy's replacement, Ben Hyne.

"I was always looking at Hyney’s game pretty closely and that was effectively his first Super Rugby game.

"He came into the game off the back of a five-day turnaround and played 60 minutes there and backed it up with a pretty good performance tonight.

"Fards is a world class player and we are just being smart with how we are managing him."