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David Pocock to work on breakdown timing for 'Pooper' showdown with Michael Hooper

ACT Brumbies flanker David Pocock is confident he will be able to adjust to breakdown interpretations in time for a showdown with Wallabies back-row partner Michael Hooper on Friday night.

But Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham will ask Super Rugby referees bosses for clarification on the way they police the ruck after having two players - Pocock and Matt Toomua - sent to the sin bin in a 52-10 round-one triumph against the Wellington Hurricanes.

The Brumbies are preparing for a huge test against the NSW Waratahs this week, adamant they will not get caught up in the hype of a 42-point thumping of the Hurricanes.

Pocock conceded the Waratahs had been the benchmark in Australian rugby in the past two years, while the Brumbies are attempting to end a two-year lean spell against their arch rivals.

It also doubles as a massive clash for the Wallabies' World Cup 'Pooper' combination as Pocock and Hooper lock horns in a battle of Australia's premier No.7s.

But before the Brumbies go into the game, they will work on improving the only area of the game that was not at its peak in the bonus-point win - breakdown discipline.


Pocock was penalised four times for not releasing the tackled player at the breakdown, with referee Andrew Lees fed up and sending him to the sin bin in the dying minutes of the game.

Larkham has flagged his intention to send footage to SANZAAR - Super Rugby's governing body - to ask what the Brumbies need to do better.

"We'll have a look at the tape, if it's a timing issue we'll fix it this week," Pocock said.

"We've put a huge amount of work into the [breakdown] area and it's something we're pretty good at. Getting it right is something we have to figure out and we've got to work on it.

"Round one was certainly enjoyable and we'll enjoy it ... the biggest thing we take out of it was defensively I thought we were pretty good for most of the game, and that's a big focus area.

"We're not going to get carried away, it was round one and you look at the next six weeks and it's a pretty solid draw."

Larkham added: "A couple of them were good decisions and a couple were 50-50, we were disappointed. Poey is the best in the game at making decisions at the breakdown but it was obviously interpreted slightly different."

Brumbies officials are hoping more than 20,000 fans will flock to Canberra Stadium on Friday night after some superb attacking play ignited the Super Rugby season.

They scored seven tries to one against last season's finalists and never really looked like losing the match.

However, the Waratahs present a new challenge and have been the Brumbies' bogey team for the past two years.

The Brumbies have beaten NSW just once in six matches since the start of the 2014 campaign, including a semi-final contest and a pre-season fixture.

Pocock is locked in contract negotiations with the Brumbies and Australian Rugby Union, with the star considering a 12-month sabbatical to study abroad before returning for the build-up to the 2019 World Cup.

He teamed up with Hooper in a dynamic combination during the World Cup campaign which led the Wallabies into the final against New Zealand.

But the focus is now on Super Rugby and the battle for bragging rights against Wallabies teammates goes on the line at Canberra Stadium. 

"It's an important game for us against the Waratahs, we'll rest up and get stuck in," Pocock said.

"They have [been the benchmark], they won it a couple of years ago and then lost in the semi last year. You'd have to say they've been the benchmark, that's who you want to be playing against. You want to be playing against the best and see how you go."


Friday: ACT Brumbies v NSW Waratahs at Canberra Stadium, 7.45pm. Tickets available from Ticketek.

* Lifeline will auction a corporate box to the Brumbies-Waratahs match this week, offering $500 of catering, a signed jersey and Lifeline board member Stephen Moore to attend a board room lunch with the winning bidder. Details will be on

* Brumbies duo Henry Speight and Tevita Kuridrani will auction their jerseys from the round-one win, with money raised going to Fiji to help the clean up after Cyclone Winston. All details are at