Fisher farewells Canberra, and his 40s - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Fisher farewells Canberra, and his 40s

By Adrian Warren 24/04/2008 07:08:09 PM Comments (0)

Brumbies coach Laurie Fisher has focused on getting his players' heads right for the must-win Super 14 home game against the Lions on Friday, which could provide him with a double celebration.

The Canberra-based franchise enters round 11 in eighth spot, three points behind the fourth placed Stormers.

Fisher and his skipper Stirling Mortlock have been wary of potential distractions with the coach preparing the team for the final time at Canberra Stadium and the Brumbies' tour of South Africa looming.

Upset wins over the Blues and Sharks have resurrected the Brumbies' season, but Fisher recognises the importance of maintaining that momentum.

"We had a long talk this morning about just making sure our preparation and our heads are right and I think they are really hoping to play a quality game this Friday night," Fisher said.

"The danger is all in the mind. I think you can't afford to underestimate anybody, you can't afford not to be at or near your best.

"That's the challenge for us, to get in the right frame of mind so we can produce our best football."

Centre Mortlock, who missed last week's win over the Sharks after a head knock, revealed the players had broached the issue of potential distractions.

"We spoke about the fact that there are a few things that can take our focus off this game, obviously heading over to Africa a day or two after the match," Mortlock said.

"The fact the last few weeks we've played teams in the top two or three in the tournament and the team really got up for them mentally.

"It's really important we make sure we go out there tomorrow night knowing it's going to be a really tough physical battle."

Mortlock said the fact it was Fisher's final home game wouldn't necessarily generate more emotion, even though he thought the issue could be in the back of the players' minds.

"I think basically to Laurie's credit he's prepared as per usual and not really tried to attract any attention to that fact," Mortlock said.

"It's his 50th birthday tomorrow night as well, after the game hopefully it would be nice to come off the win and have a bit of a celebration.

"We've still got four games to go in the season and realistically every game is a must-win for us.

"The focus has been pretty intense."

Fisher, who will be replaced next season by Andy Friend, said he had spoken to his successor a couple of days ago.

He said he had not yet been offered the position of Brumbies forwards coach from 2009 - as has been speculated - and he was keeping an open mind.

"I reckon I could work with anybody, it's probably up to him whether he (Friend) can work with me," Fisher said.

"I don't anticipate any movement `til we come back from our three-week tour and probably get my head into what the options are then."

While the Brumbies missed out on the finals in the last two seasons because of a lack of bonus points, Mortlock stressed there had been no talk about pushing for an extra point against the cellar-dwelling Lions on Friday.

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