Moore not fazed by return to Canberra

Super Rugby
by Sam Phillips

Stephen Moore is unfazed by chatter about his return to Canberra, despite the sour taste it left in many mouths at the time.

The Wallabies skipper was slammed by Brumbies CEO Michael Jones when the move north was announced in December 2015.

Jones said the Brumbies had "moved heaven and earth" to retain Moore and that his decision to leave had left a "sour taste".

But speaking at Brisbane Airport this morning before the Reds flew south, Moore said he would leave the hyperbole to others.

"It's being talked about a lot but I think it's important now that as a team we go down there and play really well," he said.Moore is leading the Reds after eight years in Canberra. Photo: Getty Images"It's a huge game for us and very important in the context of our season.

"We need to go down there and play really well.

"It's about the team performance and going to Canberra - a place where we haven't done well - and putting a performance in."

Coach Nick Stiles has drilled the importance of this derby into his team all week.

The 1-5 Reds are desperate to kick start their season but they will need to do it without Quade Cooper, James Slipper and Karmichael Hunt - three integral cogs in the Queensland system.A win would be a line in the sand for a team that has failed to live up to preseason hype and as Moore mentioned, its poor record in Canberra in recent years makes the task that much harder.

The forward pack must combat the breakdown pressure the Brumbies have applied with aplomb this season and allow Jake McIntyre and Duncan Paia'aua to bring Samu Kerevi, Eto Nabuli and Chris Kuridrani into the game.

The Brumbies have been vulnerable on the fringes and the Reds found some success in that area against the Hurricanes last Saturday.

"They play consistently well, everyone knows their job down there and they all do it really well," Moore said.

"There were some positive signs for us there last week that we can take forward and we've had a good week of preparation.

"We're going down there clear in the way we want to play the game and now it's just a case of going down and doing that under pressure."