Brumbies willing to pay the 'penalty'

Wed, 24 Jul 2013 12:40
Large morne steyn bulls kicks Large jake white ball Large morne steyn   jj engelbrech Large jake white hands up Large morne steyn looks

Brumbies coach Jake White admitted his team runs a big risk if they continue to push the envelope at the breakdown.

Brumbies coach Jake White admitted his team runs a big risk if they continue to push the envelope at the breakdown, but insist they won't change their game plan.

Speaking ahead of their Super Rugby semifinal encounter with the Bulls in Pretoria on Saturday, White admitted record-breaking Springbok Morné Steyn's deadly-accurate boot will be a huge factor.

The Brumbies are the most penalised side in the competition this season, with a substantial number the result of their zealous 'contesting' at the breakdown.

Last time the Brumbies played at Loftus Versfeld - in April last year - they lost 34-36 despite outscoring the Bulls five tries to two. Steyn booted 23 points - including seven penalties - leaving the Brumbies under no illusion as to how important infringements will be in this upcoming fixture.

That day the Brumbies conceded 11 penalties, which fractionally higher than their match average for 2013.

The Brumbies have conceded 172 penalties in 16 matches in the league season, at an average of 10.75 per match. That is in contrast to the Bulls' 152 penalties, at 9.5 per game over the same period.

It is not surprising that the Brumbies have the second most yellow cards, six, for infringements this season.

While veteran loose forward George Smith (sixth, with seven pilfers) and Colby Faingaa (16th, with four) both rank in the top 20 for most steals this season, two Brumbies also rank very high in the most penalised category - captain Ben Mowen (sixth, 22 penalties) and prop Ben Alexander (12th, 18) the main culprits.

"In the stats you can see we've got the most pilfers, the most turnovers and best ability to slow down the opposition ball," White told the Australian Associated Press.

"So with that comes the chance of giving a penalty away.

"One goes in hand with the other and I'm prepared to take the risk of conceding a penalty or two, knowing full well that you get a lot of return on what we do at the breakdown."

White knows all too well that at an altitude of about 1,350 metres Steyn can calmly slot penalty goals from 55-metres out at Loftus.

The 29-year-old flyhalf certainly punished the Brumbies in their last visit to Pretoria.

Having regained his kicking form this year, Steyn is again a huge threat.

Steyn has knocked over more penalty goals (51) this season than any other player in the history of Super Rugby, boasting an accuracy rate of 85.6 per cent when taking shots at goal.

"Morné is one of the best kickers in world rugby, especially at Loftus. He obviously kicks a lot better at his home ground," White told AAP.

"There's nothing you can do about the ball going 10 metres further [at Loftus].

"We've just got to make sure we don't concede penalties but at the same time be as aggressive as we can at the breakdown."

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New Zealand U20 v Scotland U20 07h00 AIA Arena
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Blues v Reds 07h35 Auckland
Sat, 03 June 2017
Crusaders v Highlanders 02h35 Christchurch
Chiefs v Waratahs 05h05 Hamilton
NZ Barbarians v B&I Lions 07h35 Toll Stadium
Brumbies v Rebels 09h45 Canberra
Force v Hurricanes 11h35 Perth
Sun, 04 June 2017
Ireland U20 v Scotland U20 07h00 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v France U20 07h00 Tbilisi
New Zealand U20 v Italy U20 09h30 AIA Arena
Australia U20 v Samoa U20 09h30 Tbilisi
South Africa U20 v Georgia U20 12h00 Tbilisi
England U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Tbilisi
Sun, 28 May 2017
Lions v Kings 54 | 10
Sat, 27 May 2017
Jaguares v Brumbies 15 | 39
Munster v Scarlets 22 | 46
Sharks v Stormers 22 | 10
Wasps v Exeter Chiefs 20 | 23
Bulls v Hurricanes 20 | 34
Rebels v Crusaders 19 | 41
Highlanders v Waratahs 44 | 28
Sunwolves v Cheetahs 7 | 47
Fri, 26 May 2017
Reds v Force 26 | 40
Blues v Chiefs 16 | 16
Sun, 21 May 2017
Waratahs v Rebels 50 | 23
Sat, 20 May 2017
Kings v Brumbies 10 | 19
Munster v Ospreys 23 | 3
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 21 | 20
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 12 5 0 7 28
Waratahs 12 4 0 8 19
Force 12 4 0 8 17
Reds 12 3 0 9 16
Rebels 12 1 1 10 8
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 13 13 0 0 59
Hurricanes 12 10 0 2 48
Highlanders 13 10 0 3 45
Chiefs 12 9 1 2 45
Blues 13 6 1 6 33
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 12 7 0 5 34
Cheetahs 13 3 0 10 16
Bulls 12 3 0 9 15
Sunwolves 12 1 0 11 7
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 13 12 0 1 56
Sharks 13 9 1 3 42
Jaguares 12 5 0 7 24
Kings 12 4 0 8 19