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Speight, Smith provide plenty of try-scoring opportunities in strong back line


David Polkinghorne

ACT BRUMBIES coach Jake White has quickly developed a back line that has the ability to score from anywhere, with winger Henry Speight and outside centre Andrew Smith especially productive in recent weeks.

Speight scored a stunning try in the first half, dancing around several Waratahs defenders before charging over.

Last week against the Johannesburg Lions, he scored a brace and has notched up five tries for the season - just his second in Super Rugby. He's crossed the try line in the last three games for the Brumbies, as has Smith.

The centre dived over to score after the Brumbies forward pack had produced wave after wave of pressure on the Waratahs line in the second half and it was just a matter of time before the Brumbies would score despite the desperate defence by the visitors.

Smith has been around for three seasons and has finally been given an opportunity following the departures of Matt Giteau and Adam Ashley-Cooper.

The pair has had plenty of helpers in the back seven with Joe Tomane another who is crossing the try line regularly.

At the start of the season, only Pat McCabe was a household name after his heroics at last year's World Cup, battling on despite a shoulder injury. Now the Super Rugby world will be standing up and noticing the rest of the backs.

It was a focus White had at the start of the season - to try to develop as many future stars as he could.

''You don't want to single out players but there's no doubt [Speight and Smith] are getting more and more confident. Henry, that touch and show-and-go down the touchline [to score] there is fantastic. He's been in the system for a while now and I think the more game time he's getting the better he's becoming,'' White said.

''And I thought Andrew Smith was outstanding. He's an unsung hero there, he just does his job.''

Waratahs coach Michael Foley thought the kicking game of the Brumbies was a major reason behind their backs' effectiveness.

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