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Holmes says best is yet to come


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.

HuffPost Australia

Rugby World Cup 2015

Round 1
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG 35vs FJI 11 Report Stats
TGA 10vs GEO 17 Report Stats
IRE 50vs CAN 7 Report Stats
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 32vs JPN 34 Report Stats
FRA 32vs ITA 10 Report Stats
SAM 25vs USA 16 Report Stats
WAL 54vs URU 9 Report Stats
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 26vs ARG 16 Report Stats
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 45vs JPN 10 Report Stats
Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
AUS 28vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 38vs ROM 11 Report Stats
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 58vs NAM 14 Report Stats
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 54vs GEO 9 Report Stats
ITA 23vs CAN 18 Report Stats
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 46vs SAM 6 Report Stats
ENG 25vs WAL 28 Report Stats
AUS 65vs URU 3 Report Stats
SCO 39vs USA 16 Report Stats
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 44vs ROM 10 Report Stats
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 35vs NAM 21 Report Stats
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 23vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 41vs CAN 18 Report Stats
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 43vs GEO 10 Report Stats
SAM 5vs JPN 26 Report Stats
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 34vs SCO 16 Report Stats
ENG 13vs AUS 33 Report Stats
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 45vs TGA 16 Report Stats
IRE 16vs ITA 9 Report Stats
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 15vs ROM 17 Report Stats
FJI 47vs URU 15 Report Stats
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 64vs USA 0 Report Stats
NAM 16vs GEO 17 Stats
Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
NZL 47vs TGA 9 Report Stats
Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAM 33vs SCO 36 Report Stats
AUS 15vs WAL 6 Report Stats
ENG 60vs URU 3 Stats
ARG 64vs NAM 19 Report Stats
Mon, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
ITA 32vs ROM 22 Report Stats
FRA 9vs IRE 24 Report Stats
USA 18vs JPN 28 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 23vs WAL 19 Stats
NZL 62vs FRA 13 Report Stats
IRE 20vs ARG 43 Report Stats
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
AUS 35vs SCO 34 Stats
Sun, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 18vs NZL 20 Stats
Mon, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 15vs AUS 29 Stats
Sat, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 24vs ARG 13 Stats
Sun, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
NZL 34vs AUS 17 Stats
View All Fixtures
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 4 4 0 0 106 17
Wales 4 3 1 0 49 13
England 4 2 2 0 58 11
Fiji 4 1 3 0 -17 5
Uruguay 4 0 4 0 -196 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
South Africa 4 3 1 0 120 16
Scotland 4 3 1 0 43 14
Japan 4 3 1 0 -2 12
Samoa 4 1 3 0 -55 6
USA 4 0 4 0 -106 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
New Zealand 4 4 0 0 125 19
Argentina 4 3 1 0 109 15
Georgia 4 2 2 0 -70 8
Tonga 4 1 3 0 -60 6
Namibia 4 0 4 0 -104 1
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Ireland 4 4 0 0 99 18
France 4 3 1 0 57 14
Italy 4 2 2 0 -14 10
Romania 4 1 3 0 -69 4
Canada 4 0 4 0 -73 2
View all

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