Forgotten Brumby to settle score
Former Brumby Sitaleki Timani is back as a Waratah to terrorise his old club. Photo: Cameron Spencer
The once-forgotten Brumby who scored the winning try for the Waratahs against his old club last season has another opportunity to inflict maximum pain this weekend.
And Sitaleki Timani, the soft-spoken mountain of a man who somehow morphs into a human wrecking ball in a Waratahs jersey, plans to do just that.
The 25-year-old says he hasn't forgotten the frustrations of 2010, when he did not play a single minute for the Brumbies.
Not even the match-winning try, regular starting roles and his first Test cap could rob him of the desire to prove something to the people who did not place their faith in his abilities.
''I came down here [to Sydney] and got the chance to go back and play against them and it gave me more motivation to try to prove something,'' Timani said.
''I'm trying to do it to every team [now] as well, to prove myself.''
Tomorrow night Timani will have an entire game to prove himself after Waratahs coach Michael Foley named him to start in the second row instead of Dean Mumm, who was named on the bench.
He is the only change to the side that narrowly lost to the Crusaders in Sydney last week. Timani will partner with Kane Douglas and pack in behind the Waratahs' all-Wallabies front row of Benn Robinson, Tatafu Polota-Nau and Sekope Kepu.
Dave Dennis, Jono Jenkins and Wycliff Palu will start in the back row, while Rocky Elsom and Lopeti Timani will wait to provide support from the bench.
Peter Betham and Atieli Pakalani will start on the wings for a second week running in an opportunity for the Waratahs's backs to strengthen their connection and shore up their defence, which was found lacking against the Crusaders.
Timani and Douglas have their work cut out for them to contain the locks named for the Brumbies - Sam Carter and Scott Fardy.
Carter's inclusion in the starting side was one of three changes coach Jake White made to the side that put on six tries to beat the Lions in Johannesburg last weekend.
Captain Ben Mowen and Dan Palmer return to blind-side flanker and tight-head prop after a week off. Timani said he was looking forward to playing his old squad.
''It's always good to play against your old mate over there, your friends and your mates in Canberra,'' he said.
''[It's] a big challenge for you to try to push in and be better than them or try to beat them, it makes you happy.''
Much like his other former Brumby teammate Elsom, Timani has been impressed with the work of White, who made wholesale changes to the squad when he arrived at the end of last year.
''They have a different game now and I think it's going to be a big challenge for us to beat them over there but I'm pretty confident we will come away with the four points.''
Timani said he was taking his return to form slowly and wasn't looking further ahead than securing his next start, despite the obvious attraction of adding another Wallabies cap to his game against Samoa last year.
''I'm not really thinking about the Wallabies now, I'm just working step by step,'' he said.
''My first step is to get a starting position and the next step to go from there and try to play well and get the selectors to [have some interest] in me but the Wallabies I'm not really thinking about it now, I'm just thinking about performing.''