JavaScript disabled. Please enable JavaScript to use My News, My Clippings, My Comments and user settings.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

Brumbies keeping it simple

Date

Chris Dutton

Brumbies player Pat McCabe  at team training at Griffith Oval.

Brumbies player Pat McCabe at team training at Griffith Oval. Photo: Richard Briggs

The Queensland Reds built their championship-winning season around Quade Cooper's unpredictable brilliance but the ACT Brumbies are backing their no-frills game plan to topple the defending champions on Saturday.

The Brumbies will attempt to extend their lead at the top of the Australian conference when they take on the Reds at Canberra Stadium.

Wallabies flyhalf Cooper made his comeback from a knee reconstruction last weekend and had an immediate impact despite playing just 40 minutes.

Cooper has the ability to tear an opposition team apart. But the star pivot's style is a direct contrast to the ''simple'' Brumbies who have designed their resurgence around a plan which relies on team involvement, not individual genius.

Cooper and Brumbies inside centre Pat McCabe formed the Wallabies' 10-12 combination at the World Cup last year.

And McCabe believes the Brumbies' structured style can trump the Reds' attacking flair.

''It makes it a lot easier for guys that step in, there's not a huge amount of plays they need to know,'' McCabe said. ''The nice things that get the crowd excited are still happening with the off-loads and the footwork. So far I think we've done the simple things quite well and it all comes back to the basics.

''It's no secret how good [Cooper] is and the combination he has with Will [Genia] is something that led to them winning the championship.

''[Cooper] gives them a lot of confidence, he's a huge threat … he's got such a huge array of skills that you can't predict what he's going to do and probably at the last minute he doesn't know what he's going to do.''

McCabe will likely retain his place in the Wallabies squad for Tests against Scotland and Wales next month. But given his versatility, it is unclear if he'll be used in the centres, on the wing or at fullback.

The Brumbies have reinvented themselves this season under former World Cup-winning coach Jake White.

They have won seven of their 11 matches at sit at the top of the Australian conference.

If they beat the Reds, they will be on the verge of their first finals appearance since 2004.

After a horror campaign last year - during which the Brumbies won just four games - White has transformed the club. They have scored 22 tries in the past five matches and secured eight bonus points already.

Outside centre Andrew Smith is benefiting from the rejigged game plan. He has cemented the No.13 jersey and is forming a strong midfield combination with McCabe.

''The confidence comes with each game, you trust everyone around you will do the job,'' Smith said.

''We've got quite a basic game plan, our defensive structure is pretty basic so it's all about trusting the guy next to you.

''Everyone understands exactly what they have to do … I guess I've just had an opportunity this year and I knew it was going to be a big year and I feel I've taken that opportunity.''

Meanwhile, Reds utility back Ben Lucas is struggling with a groin injury and was rested from training yesterday afternoon. But coach Ewen McKenzie remains confident Lucas can recover from the problem and line up for the defending champions' last match before their mid-season break.

Comments

Be the first to comment.

Make a comment

You are logged in as [Logout]

All information entered below may be published.

Error: Please enter your screen name.

Error: Your Screen Name must be less than 255 characters.

Error: Your Location must be less than 255 characters.

Error: Please enter your comment.

Error: Your Message must be less than 300 words.

Post to

You need to have read and accepted the Conditions of Use.

Thank you

Your comment has been submitted for approval.

Comments are moderated and are generally published if they are on-topic and not abusive.

Related Coverage

Rugby Internationals 2014

Round 1
Sat, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 18 vs TGA 18 Report Stats
FJI 25 vs ITA 14 Report Stats
NZL 20 vs ENG 15 Report Stats
AUS 50 vs FRA 23 Report Stats
Sun, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 47 vs WXV 13 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 29 Report Stats
USA 6 vs SCO 24 Report Stats
CAN 25 vs JPN 34 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sat, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 15 vs ITA Report Stats
FJI 45 vs TGA 17 Report Stats
NZL 28 vs ENG 27 Report Stats
AUS 6 vs FRA Report Stats
Sun, 15 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 38 vs WAL 16 Report Stats
CAN 17 vs SCO 19 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 23 Report Stats
USA 29 vs JPN 37 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Sat, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
ARG 19 vs SCO 21 Report Stats
FJI 13 vs SAM 18 Report Stats
JPN 26 vs ITA 23 Report Stats
AUS 39 vs FRA 13 Stats
NZL 36 vs ENG 13 Report Stats
Sun, 22 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 31 vs WAL 30 Report Stats
USA 38 vs CAN 35 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 4
Sun, 29 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 55 vs SCO 6 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 5
Sun, 02 NovTimes shown AEDT
BAR 36 vs AUS 40 Report Stats
USA 6 vs NZL 74 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 6
Sun, 09 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 24 vs SAM 13 Report Stats
ENG 21 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
WAL 28 vs AUS 33 Report Stats
FRA 40 vs FJI 14 Report Stats
IRE 29 vs RSA 15 Report Stats
SCO 41 vs ARG 31 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 7
Sun, 16 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 18 vs ARG 20 Report Stats
ENG 28 vs RSA 31 Report Stats
WAL 17 vs FJI 13 Report Stats
SCO 16 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
FRA 29 vs AUS 26 Report Stats
Mon, 17 NovTimes shown AEDT
IRE 49 vs GEO 7 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 8
Sun, 23 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 6 vs RSA 22 Report Stats
SCO 37 vs TGA 12 Report Stats
IRE 26 vs AUS 23 Report Stats
WAL 16 vs NZL 34 Report Stats
ENG 28 vs SAM 9 Report Stats
FRA 13 vs ARG 18 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 9
Sun, 30 NovTimes shown AEDT
ENG 26 vs AUS 17 Report Stats
WAL 12 vs RSA 6 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
 
Featured advertisers