Brumbies have plan to swim with Sharks - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Brumbies have plan to swim with Sharks

By Adrian Warren 13/04/2008 03:42:26 PM Comments (0)

Brumbies coach Laurie Fisher believes the blueprint which helped his team cause a Super rugby boilover against the Blues will also be the template for another potential upset against the unbeaten Sharks in Canberra next Saturday.

The 16-11 win over the Blues in Auckland kept the Brumbies finals hopes alive, though they remained in ninth spot, six points out of fourth.

A feisty forward effort was highlighted by a much improved performance at the breakdown and a dominant lineout display.

Asked what the win did for the Brumbies prospects for the remainder of the season, a circumspect Fisher said "it is a cliché but it is week by week.

"We're against the Sharks next week, so it was really good preparation for us," he said.

"You need to be abrasive, you need to be hard at the breakdown and you need to take your opportunities.

"I think it's a fair blueprint for how we need to play next week and we'll hopefully be able to put that together."

Brumbies fullback Mark Gerrard, who excelled against the Blues, anticipated another jarring encounter next week.

'That game is going to be very physical we know that, the Sharks forward pack are a very large forward pack," Gerrard said. "But in saying that the forwards did a tremendous job against the Blues and they will step up again, particularly at Canberra Stadium."

One aspect of the Brumbies game Fisher will be looking for a lift in is in the scrum, where they were clearly outpointed by the Blues.

"We struggled in that part of the game without a doubt," Fisher said.

Gerrard's composure at the back and shrewd kicking game and the strong efforts of centre Stirling Mortlock and winger Adam Ashley-Cooper complemented the good work of their forwards.

Mortlock left the ground late in the game after being accidentally struck in the head by the knee of Blues hooker Keven Mealamu, but Fisher expected his skipper to be right to face the Sharks.

With both Mortlock and Ashley-Cooper performing well in their second game back after a long break, Fisher anticipated better things to come from the Brumbies backline against a tough Sharks defence.

The Brumbies win also helped the other Australian teams, particularly the Waratahs who jumped to fourth, following their 17-12 away win over the Force in Perth.

"We were trying to help ourselves first and foremost, but that's the nature of this beast, the nature of Super rugby at the moment," Gerrard said.

"Every team can do one thing on one particular day and obviously a week later it can be totally something different and it works against you.

"But we're going out there every game in a positive frame of mind, working hard to be a dominant side in this Super competition."

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