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Holmes says best is yet to come

Date

Jon Tuxworth

Zack Holmes of the Brumbies scores a try during the round 13 Super Rugby match between the Hurricanes and the Brumbies at Westpac Stadium on May 18 in Wellington.

Zack Holmes of the Brumbies scores a try during the round 13 Super Rugby match between the Hurricanes and the Brumbies at Westpac Stadium on May 18 in Wellington. Photo: Getty Images

He scored 22 points on debut last week, and is being touted as the ACT Brumbies' unlikely saviour.

But rookie flyhalf Zack Holmes insists that performance was far from his best, and he isn't fazed by the prospect of doing battle with Queensland Reds whiz Quade Cooper in Saturday's blockbuster at Canberra Stadium.

Drafted into the Brumbies' No.10 jersey following season-ending knee injuries to Matt Toomua and Christian Lealiifano, Holmes was outstanding in last week's 37-25 win over the Hurricanes in Wellington.

Taking on the defending champion in front of a packed home crowd, to virtually seal a finals spot, is a totally different proposition.

But Holmes, who turns 22 next Wednesday, intends to embrace the challenge. ''You try not to think about it [the expectation] too much, that's out of my control,'' Holmes said yesterday.

''I'm not quite as nervous this week, I'm feeling a bit more comfortable even though it's a really big game. For me it's about building on last week and there's things I can work on, I don't think that's the best I can play.''

The Brumbies' structured style has helped Holmes ease his way into the most influential position on the field.

Cooper's Reds are known for playing a more off-the-cuff style, and Holmes said it would be foolish to try and emulate the freakish football the Wallabies star can produce.

Cooper played 40 minutes in his return from a knee reconstruction against the Lions last week, and is tipped to play the full match against the Brumbies.

The Reds are currently eight points behind the Brumbies in the Australian conference, and will also gain four points with a bye next week.

''You can't predict what Quade will do, but you know what he can bring to a game,'' Holmes said. ''It's just being aware of what he can do but not focus on him too much.

''There's things he can do that nobody else can and everybody knows that, but I think most five-eighths would look at his game and try and emulate some of the things he does.''

However, Holmes insisted the perception Queensland lives and dies by 'razzle dazzle' football is largely a myth.

''The Reds probably aren't as structured, but they still do play quite a simple game plan in terms of not playing any footy in their own half,'' Holmes said.

''Last year Quade and [Will] Genia had the second and third most kicks in the competition, so it's not like they're just throwing balls from side to side, and making breaks from their own 22.

''They do play a structured game, but when Quade gets the ball he has free rein so to speak.''

Nic White is tipped to replace Ian Prior as starting scrumhalf, meaning one of Super Rugby's least experienced halves combinations will face arguably the game's best in Cooper and Genia.

''Whitey backs himself and doesn't die wondering, that's similar to my game,'' Holmes said. ''We both back our abilities and this week it's about our communication and making sure we're on the same page.''

The West Australian insisted he was always destined to play rugby, despite being an outstanding junior in athletics and soccer.

He held a handful of national titles on the track and trained with the Perth Glory Academy for a period.

However, he believes both sports had helped shape his rugby game. ''With my goalkicking, soccer's definitely played a part, and with my running athletics has helped that.''

Brumbies No.8 Fotu Auelua remains in serious doubt for the match after copping a couple of head knocks against the Hurricanes.

Rugby World Cup 2015

Round 1
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG 0vs FJI 0 05:00Twic
TGA 0vs GEO 0 21:00Kholm
IRE 0vs CAN 0 23:30MilS
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs JPN 0 01:45Brig
FRA 0vs ITA 0 05:00Twic
SAM 0vs USA 0 21:00Brig
WAL 0vs URU 0 23:30MilS
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs ARG 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 0vs JPN 0 23:30Kholm
Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
AUS 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs ROM 0 05:00Olym
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs NAM 0 05:00Olym
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 0vs GEO 0 01:45Kholm
ITA 0vs CAN 0 23:30Ella
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SAM 0 01:45Villa
ENG 0vs WAL 0 05:00Twic
AUS 0vs URU 0 21:00Villa
SCO 0vs USA 0 23:30Ella
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 0vs ROM 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 0vs NAM 0 01:45Sand
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs CAN 0 05:00stadium:mk
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs GEO 0 05:00MilS
SAM 0vs JPN 0 23:30stadium:mk
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SCO 0 01:45St James' Park
ENG 0vs AUS 0 06:00Twic
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 0vs TGA 0 00:30KPS
IRE 0vs ITA 0 02:45Olym
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 0vs ROM 0 02:45KPS
FJI 0vs URU 0 06:00stadium:mk
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 0vs USA 0 02:45Olym
NAM 0vs GEO 0 06:00Sand
Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
NZL 0vs TGA 0 06:00St James' Park
Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAM 0vs SCO 0 00:30St James' Park
AUS 0vs WAL 0 02:45Twic
ENG 0vs URU 0 06:00Manch
ARG 0vs NAM 0 22:00KPS
Mon, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
ITA 0vs ROM 0 00:30Sand
FRA 0vs IRE 0 02:45MilS
USA 0vs JPN 0 06:00Kholm
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinB 0vs RUpA 0 02:00Twic
WinC 0vs RUpD 0 06:00MilS
WinD 0vs RUpC 0 23:00MilS
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinA 0vs RUpB 0 02:00Twic
Sun, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF1 0vs WQF2 0 02:00Twic
Mon, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF3 0vs WQF4 0 03:00Twic
Sat, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
LSF1 0vs LSF2 0 07:00Olym
Sun, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
WSF1 0vs WSF2 0 03:00Twic
View All Fixtures
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
France 0 0 0 0 0 0
New Zealand 0 0 0 0 0 0
Canada 0 0 0 0 0 0
Tonga 0 0 0 0 0 0
Japan 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Romania 0 0 0 0 0 0
Argentina 0 0 0 0 0 0
England 0 0 0 0 0 0
Georgia 0 0 0 0 0 0
Scotland 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 0 0 0 0 0 0
USA 0 0 0 0 0 0
Italy 0 0 0 0 0 0
Ireland 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Fiji 0 0 0 0 0 0
Samoa 0 0 0 0 0 0
Namibia 0 0 0 0 0 0
South Africa 0 0 0 0 0 0
Wales 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
 

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