Moore has till kick-off to prove fitness - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Moore has till kick-off to prove fitness

By Karlis Salna 08/05/2009 07:25:53 PM Comments (0)

Wallabies hooker Stephen Moore has been named in the Brumbies side for Saturday's crucial Super 14 home clash with the Blues despite carrying a hamstring injury, which has prevented him from training for most of the week.

The match is a must-win for the Brumbies to keep their semi-finals hopes alive.

A win against the Blues could see the home side move into the top four if results go their way, while a loss would end their chances of a finals berth.

A scan on Friday revealed Moore, a standout player for the Brumbies this season, has a slight strain in his right hamstring.

The Brumbies rake has been unable to train for much of the week.

But his coach Andy Friend said Moore, a vital cog in the side's forward pack, would be given until just before kick-off to prove his fitness.

"We're going to give him every opportunity," Friend said.

"He'll do the warm-up, and if he feels good at the end of the warm-up then we're happy to run with him."

"We'll make a decision based upon that."

The Blues are not without injury problems of their own with blindside flanker Justin Collins ruled out for the clash that could also sink the Auckland side's chances of making the semi-finals.

All Blacks locks Ali Williams and Anthony Boric are out of action while winger Rene Ranger and centre Anthony Tuitavake are struggling with injuries.

Tighthead prop John Afoa, also an All Black, will return in a much needed boost to the side.

The Blues head into Saturday's match in eighth place on 31 competition points, one point behind the seventh-placed Brumbies, and still with a mathematical chance of making the finals.

While their form is poor, coming off losses to the Reds and Hurricanes, Friend remains wary of an unpredictable Blues side that will be desperate for a win.

The Blues have shown a willingness to play an expansive style of rugby this season which has delivered no less than 11 bonus points, the majority coming from scoring four tries or more.

"They're the team in the competition that scored the most four-try bonus points with seven, so you know they're going to throw attacking rugby at us," Friend said.

"That will also provide opportunities for us and the way we played last week, we certainly kept the ball in hand a bit more and got some good pay out of it."

The Brumbies by comparison have just four bonus points but Friend said the side would not be risking a win in search of an extra point.

"We haven't discussed it all, it's all about having to win tomorrow night, and in the process if we can pick up four tries that's a bonus for us."

"If you chase (bonus points) you can often bring yourself undone."

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