Reality check for White's Brumbies
Sun, 24 Mar 2013 08:23
They really dished it up to us and it is a massive learning curve
The table-topping Brumbies were brought back to earth by the Stormers who handed them their first defeat of the season at Newlands on Saturday.
The youthful Brumbies outfit came out against an incredibly motivated Stormers side that fronted up in the collision and dished out a bit of what the Canberra side gave the Sharks last week.
"As good as we were last week in the first 40 minutes we were as poor this week in terms of finishing things that we started.
"The Stormers were desperate for a win, they had a bye last week and it didn't look like they had a bye, they were fresh and they were ready to go," White said in the post-match press conference.
A major blow for the side from Canberra was losing in-form fullback Jesse Mogg as well as commanding scrumhalf Nic White in the lead-up to the match.
"Fullback and scrumhalf for the Brumbies [are vital] every time they have played - even in the glory days with Joe Roff and George Gregan, that's the way they play.
"It's pivotal making sure that those two positions are covered and not taking anything away from Robbie [Coleman] and Ian Prior the bottom line is, as soon as you lose that synergy between nine and ten and your kicking game from the back you have to find other ways to get out of it," White explained.
The pressure of the Super Rugby competition really showed in this game as the home support for the Stormers was overwhelming and the Brumbies battled to soak up the pressure early in the game.
"As soon as we let them get a few points ahead it meant that we had to chase the game which is not easy at Newlands."
White understands that his side still has a lot to learn in terms of their ability to produce match-winning performances week in, and week out.
"The one thing you can't fast-track is experience and some of the boys have never been to Newlands and they don't know what it's like.
"We said it was going to be like a Test match," the coach mentioned.
As much as White had to say in the pre-match build-up he showed great admiration for the way in which the Stormers played.
"I thought the Stormers were outstanding tonight, they really dished it up to us and it is a massive learning curve for us.
"At the end of the day one has to give credit where credit is due, I thought they played really well."
The Brumbies have the long trip home to Canberra to prepare for their clash with the Bulls next week.
"The loss this week is going to be meaningless when we run out next week against the Bulls."
White is making sure that his players take this competition one week at a time and make sure that they realise that there is no such thing as an easy fixture in Super Rugby.
"The win last week showed us that it meant nothing for this weeks fixture," White explained.
White's Brumbies side remain top of the Australian conference as well as the overall log and he will be reasonably happy with his sides performance on this short tour of South Africa.
"There are no illusions now about how tough it is to win in South Africa," said White.
By Nick Tatham
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