Jake just 'peripheral stuff'
Mon, 05 May 2014 09:27
The Brumbies are determined to avoid being distracted by the many sideshows that Jake White's return to Canberra will bring this week.
White will return to the Australian capital for the first time since he cut short his Brumbies contract - with two years still to run - and then promptly joined up with his former Springbok captain, John Smit, at the Sharks in Durban.
While most of this week's media headlines should centre around the fact that it is a top-of-the-table Super Rugby clash - the Sharks, in first place, are five points ahead of the second-placed Brumbies - every interview so far has been about the return of White.
Captain Ben Mowen told the Australian media that some players would be privately "filthy" at the way he left the franchise.
However, the Brumbies' Wallaby hooker Stephen Moore admitted there is a risk of his team being "distracted" by the highly publicised return of White to Canberra.
Moore said he wouldn't even be thinking about White until he had a chat with him after the game.
"There is a lot of peripheral stuff," Moore told the Australian Associated Press.
"That stuff can only be a distraction.
"We're playing the top team in the competition, so that's the important thing."
Moore admitted he was a little shocked when told of White's departure from the franchise in October, but say he's now moved on.
"I'm fine with it," he said
"It's not an issue.
"That stuff happens in football. It's happened before and it will happen again."
Brumbies prop Ben Alexander said they wouldn't be making any wholesale tactical changes against the Sharks just because White had inside knowledge of their structures.
"You've got to try and find what's been working well for you, refine it, and stick to it," Alexander told AAP.
"Not change it because the opposition might know what's coming."
He said last week's 40-20 thumping at the hands of the Crusaders provided them with a timely lesson ahead of the top-of-the-table clash.
"To get touched up like that, maybe it is a bit of a reality check," he said.
"You learn the most from your losses and we've really analysed those lessons."
The Brumbies captain, Mowen, said he was disappointed with the result.
"We're disappointed with some of the effort areas of and how we put things together. We were off the pace and the Crusaders made us pay," Mowen said.
"There were too many missed tackles and our set piece was continually under pressure which didn't help. You're not going to get a result against a side like the Crusaders unless you're there for the entire game and that certainly wasn't the case for us.
"There were parts of the game where we were there and then other parts where we just turned off and they managed to really hurt us."
Sources: AAP & Brumbies media unit
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