Rugby Union

Brumbies captain Stephen Moore says Brumbies have to beat Western Force to keep Super Rugby season alive

ACT Brumbies captain Stephen Moore says "there's no way to sugar coat" it and they just have to deal with the unavoidable pressure of having to beat the Western Force in Perth on Friday night "to stay in the competition".

Moore added talk about the Wallabies and this year's World Cup was also unavoidable as the business end of the Super Rugby season approaches.

ACT Brumbies captain player Stephen Moore says his side has to deal with the pressure against the Western Force on ...
ACT Brumbies captain player Stephen Moore says his side has to deal with the pressure against the Western Force on Friday night. Photo: Jeffrey Chan

The Brumbies can wrap up a finals berth with a bonus-point victory over the Force, despite currently sitting in sixth position on the ladder.

But they could also still finish top of the Australian conference or even top-two if they back that up with a win in their final game against the Canterbury Crusaders at Canberra Stadium next weekend.

That would earn them a crucial home final in either the first or second week of the play-offs.

Moore said the magnitude of what was on the line against the Force was inescapable and they would have to play better than they did against the Pretoria Bulls last weekend to win. 

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"The pressure is unavoidable in this circumstance - you have to win to stay in the competition," he said.

"There's no way to sugar coat that, you can package it up however you like, but we need to win.

"The only way you can address it is to talk about how you're going to try and get the result. We've tried to do that all year."

Moore has played 92 Tests for Australia and is the Wallabies  most-capped hooker.

The Australian Rugby Union was in town this week filming some promotional clips with the Brumbies' Wallabies.

It's become normal for the 32-year-old at this time of year and he has no trouble keeping his focus on  trying to win the Super Rugby title.

But he said it was important to remind the younger Wallabies  to maintain that focus and not worry about the chance of playing at a World Cup until the end of the season.

"Everyone is desperate to achieve success here at the Brumbies, whatever happens beyond that is not in focus," Moore said.

"It's a bit like people saying we have to win the game - people know the Wallabies is on the horizon and it's a huge year for the Wallabies.

"Everyone has motivation to play for Australia no doubt, but does it motivate people? It's going to be different for every individual isn't it.

"I'd like to think that most of the motivation on the weekend is for our team to go out there and achieve what we want to."

The Brumbies have made just the one change to their side, bringing lock Blake Enever straight into the starting XV in place of Sam Carter (knee).

Moore said the two-metre second-rower would be a key player for the Brumbies for the rest of the season.

He added Brumbies flanker David Pocock's ball carrying was complementing his "world-class" breakdown work.

"[Pocock has] been really influential for us around that breakdown," Moore said. 

"I think his ball carrying has been excellent and he's worked really hard on that stuff and it's good to see him having a big impact for us in that part of the game.

"As you know, his breakdown work is world-class, [he's] really strong over the ball."

SUPER RUGBY ROUND 17

Friday: ACT Brumbies v Western Force at Perth, 9pm. TV Time: Live on Fox Sports 2.

Brumbies line-up: 1. Scott Sio, 2. Stephen Moore (c), 3. Ben Alexander, 4. Rory Arnold, 5. Blake Enever, 6. Scott Fardy, 7. David Pocock, 8. Ita Vaea, 9. Nic White, 10. Christian Lealiifano, 11. Joe Tomane, 12. Robbie Coleman, 13. Tevita Kuridrani, 14. Henry Speight, 15. Jesse Mogg. Reserves: 16. Josh Mann-Rea, 17. Allan Alaalatoa, 18. Ruan Smith, 19. Jordan Smiler, 20. Jarrad Butler, 21. Michael Dowsett, 22. Nigel Ah Wong, 23. James Dargaville.

Western Force: 15. Dane Haylett-Petty, 14. Luke Morahan, 13. Marcel Brache, 12. Kyle Godwin, 11. Nick Cummins, 10. Sias Ebersohn, 9. Ryan Louwrens, 8. Ben McCalman, 7. Matt Hodgson (c), 6. Angus Cottrell, 5. Adam Coleman, 4. Steve Mafi, 3. Tetera Faulkner, 2. Nathan Charles, 1. Pekahou Cowan. Reserves: 16. Heath Tessmann, 17. Chris Heiberg, 18. Guy Millar, 19. Sam Wykes, 20. Kane Koteka, 21. Alby Mathewson, 22. Luke Burton, 23. Patrick Dellit.