Brumbies brace for intense Cheetahs

Wed, 17 Jul 2013 17:36
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Brumbies assistant coach Stephen Larkham has warned his players to expect a step up in intensity against the Cheetahs in Sunday's play-off.

Brumbies assistant coach Stephen Larkham has warned his players to expect a step up in intensity against the Cheetahs in their Super Rugby play-off in Canberra this Sunday.

As a player, Larkham excelled in all-or-nothing encounters, famously sinking South Africa in the 1999 World Cup semifinals with a long-range drop-goal and guiding the Brumbies to their two Super Rugby titles.

It is based on these personal experiences that Larkham is preparing the Canberra side to steel themselves for an extra-ordinary onslaught from the Cheetahs in their first play-off in nine years.   

"It's do or die," Larkham said.

"You get that intensity for the full 80 minutes, particularly the contact areas.

"Guys will throw themselves in there a little bit more.

"They're not going to hold anything back because they're not worried about injuries as it's potentially the last game of the season."

The Australian Conference winners were rusty in their first match after the June Test window and subsequently slumped to a surprise 15-21 loss to the Western Force at the weekend.

Larkham, however, pointed to France’s unlikely road to the 2011 World Cup Final following their shock loss to Tonga as a prime example as to why the upset against the Force will have no bearing on them.

"You look at the French in the World Cup. They got through to the Final and nearly beat New Zealand, having played so poorly in the round games," Larkham said.

"Your form beforehand doesn't really matter. You can change your mindset in a week quite easily in Super Rugby."

Inside centre and goal kicker Christian Lealiifano said the team are gelling again at training this week.

"Absolutely, it's about our time together, training together and then everything should happen on Sunday," Lealiifano said.

"You've just got to build to that each day and the boys are definitely doing that.

"This group definitely bounces back from a loss."

Source: AAP

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Fri, 26 May 2017
Blues v Chiefs 07h45 Auckland
Reds v Force 09h45 Suncorp Stadium
Sat, 27 May 2017
Sunwolves v Cheetahs 05h15 Tokyo
Highlanders v Waratahs 07h35 Dunedin
Rebels v Crusaders 09h45 Melbourne
Bulls v Hurricanes 13h05 Loftus Versfeld
Wasps v Exeter Chiefs 13h30 London
Sharks v Stormers 15h15 Kings Park
Munster v Scarlets 17h15 Dublin
Jaguares v Brumbies 21h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 28 May 2017
Lions v Kings 12h30 Ellis Park Stadium
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Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 11 4 0 7 23
Waratahs 11 4 0 7 19
Reds 11 3 0 8 16
Force 11 3 0 8 13
Rebels 11 1 1 9 8
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 12 12 0 0 54
Hurricanes 11 9 0 2 43
Chiefs 11 9 0 2 43
Highlanders 12 9 0 3 41
Blues 12 6 0 6 31
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 11 7 0 4 30
Bulls 11 3 0 8 15
Cheetahs 12 2 0 10 11
Sunwolves 11 1 0 10 7
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 12 11 0 1 51
Sharks 12 8 1 3 38
Jaguares 11 5 0 6 24
Kings 11 4 0 7 19