Brumbies to mix it up for White

Tue, 06 May 2014 08:05
Large stephen larkham brumbies

Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham says his side will add some variations to their game to counter the inside knowledge of former coach Jake White.

Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham says his side will add some variations to their game to counter the inside knowledge of former coach Jake White this weekend.

White left the Brumbies last season after two years in charge, having guided them to the Super Rugby Final against the Chiefs, and he returns to Canberra this weekend as coach of the table-topping Sharks.

The Brumbies have stuck quite closely to White's coaching blueprint which has brought them more success this year as they sit on top of the Australian conference and just five log points behind the Sharks on the overall standings.

The Canberra side have continued to rely on staunch defence, an accurate kicking game and a powerful forward pack this year, but Larkham insists that they have 'evolved' and will have a few tricks up their sleeves for White this weekend.

"You can't be spooked by any opposition. We've evolved. There's a few things, a few tactics, that we're going to introduce this week," Larkham told AAP.

The former Wallabies flyhalf said that working under White as an assistant had given him some insights into what to expect from the Sharks, who got their tour off to a winning start with a victory over the Rebels in Melbourne last week.

"Jake was here for two years and I learnt a lot while he was here. I guess I know Jake's way - probably gives me an advantage," he said.

White's return to Canberra has been hyped up as something of a grudge match after he left the Brumbies suddenly last year, and he has opted not to hold a press conference until Thursday which Larkham suggested could be an attempt to keep the focus on the rugby and not the side issues.

"It's a very difficult for those guys. I guess he wants to make sure it's a successful tour.

"He'd be cautious coming into this match knowing it's not about him. It's about what's delivered on the field and I'm sure his focus is on that at the moment," said Larkham.

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Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 5 2 0 3 11
Waratahs 5 2 0 3 8
Reds 4 1 0 3 6
Force 4 1 0 3 5
Rebels 4 0 0 4 1
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 5 5 0 0 21
Chiefs 4 4 0 0 19
Hurricanes 4 3 0 1 15
Blues 5 2 0 3 11
Highlanders 5 2 0 3 9
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 4 4 0 0 17
Cheetahs 5 2 0 3 9
Bulls 4 1 0 3 5
Sunwolves 5 0 0 5 1
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 5 4 0 1 19
Jaguares 5 4 0 1 18
Sharks 5 4 0 1 17
Kings 5 1 0 4 5