Don't count out Brumbies, Tahs: Deans - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Don't count out Brumbies, Tahs: Deans

By Darren Walton 11/05/2009 06:47:17 PM Comments (0)

An eternal optimist, Wallabies coach Robbie Deans says there's no reason why the Brumbies or NSW Waratahs can't win the Super 14 title - despite neither entering this weekend's final round in the top four.

Deans on Monday was quick to put a positive spin on the Brumbies' and Waratahs' predicaments when quizzed about the prospect of Australia being the only country not to have a team featuring in this year's playoffs.

"We might have two teams in the finals. We might have more teams than any other nation," Deans said.

"There's not a lot in it. It's a remarkable competition to that end."

Although the Brumbies must conquer the second-placed Chiefs in Hamilton and the Waratahs need both a bonus-point victory over the Lions in Johannesburg and other results to go their way, Deans believes both sides possess the necessary steel to challenge for the title if they sneak into the playoffs.

The inspired Brumbies have won five from six matches since Shawn Mackay's tragic road accident in Durban - which ultimately took the forward's life last month - while the Waratahs are two-thirds of the way to completing the first winning treble in South Africa by an Australasian team in Super rugby.

"There's been some resilience shown," Deans said.

"The Brumbies are living proof of that - a group who have experienced some pain but have really fought their way through and turned some of those challenges to their own advantage and it's starting to produce some consistency.

"The Waratahs have had to show resilience. They've had to persevere, not only in terms of the off-field scrutiny but also some of the on-field challenges.

"They've worked hard to be in the position they're in, where they can still win the competition."

Deans, who coached the Christchurch-based Crusaders to five Super titles before taking charge of the Wallabies job last year, said momentum gained from a series of backs-to-the-wall victories could not be underestimated.

"It's fascinating. If you look over time, it's often those teams who have come through a background of adversity who have pushed on," he said.

"Particularly if qualification looked like a long shot at some point in time, because they come in (to the finals) with a psyche not only of developed toughness but also with an outlook that they have an opportunity that they didn't think they would have.

"There's an unshackling with the resilience. It's a good blend."

With seven teams still in contention for a finals berth, Deans said it was too tight to predict a winner.

But he felt the front-running Bulls were in the box seat.

"If the Bulls finish up top, then they'll be a challenge because they've got that unique circumstance of the high veldt and the travel and history would suggest that no-one has ever travelled twice (in the finals) and won," he said.

The New Zealand native also admitted to being quietly chuffed with the Crusaders' climb up the ladder to fourth spot.

"I have kept an eye on them, to be fair. There's still a sentimental attachment if you like," Deans said.

"They've done well and they're still in the hunt. That's their habit.

"So if they get there, look out. They've shown they're perfectly capable of pushing on and closing the deal.

"You wish them well. They've got a good management group - blokes that I've been lucky enough to work with over the years - and I think they've done a great job in year one and they're not done yet."

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2024 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news