Brumbies happy to play up front: Phibbs - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Brumbies happy to play up front: Phibbs

By Adrian Warren 12/05/2009 07:46:26 PM Comments (0)

Brumbies halfback Patrick Phibbs believes being the first cab off the rank in the final week scramble for Super 14 rugby finals places is a positive for his surging side.

The Canberra-based side arrived in New Zealand on Tuesday afternoon in preparation for their Friday clash with the second placed Chiefs in Hamilton.

The Brumbies enter the 14th and final round in fifth spot level on points with the fourth-placed Crusaders.

Victorious in five of their last six matches, the Brumbies will get the chance to crank up the pressure on the other finals aspirants if they upset the high-scoring Chiefs.

A loss in the first game of the final round would end their season, but a win would leave them sweating on the other results over the following 36 hours.

"It (going first) is a good thing, getting it over and done with, so then you are not worried about what else has gone on," Phibbs said.

"We have to rely on ourselves to do our job and then it will be a nervous wait watching the other games."

Phibbs believed the Brumbies needed to reproduce the same kind of defensive intensity that strangled the high scoring Blues in last weekend's match in Canberra.

"I think the Blues have scored the most tries of the Super 14 teams this year, but if we go in this weekend against the Chiefs with the same focus as we did against the Blues, then hopefully we will be alright," Phibbs said.

He said improved defence had been the key to the Brumbies' last two wins against the Reds and Blues after they leaked 56 points against the Hurricanes.

"It was probably good that we did have that loss because we're definitely back in the direction we want to be," Phibbs said.

"I think the Hurricanes putting 50 on us was a wake up call."

Phibbs could well find himself directly opposed to All Blacks star Brendan Leonard who is poised to return from a sternum injury.

"Brendan is a great attacking player, he has had a few weeks off but I am sure he'll come back better from that," Phibbs said.

"In terms of me, it's a great indicator of where I'm at as a rugby player, so I would definitely be looking forward to the challenge."

Phibbs admitted he would be a lot less distracted heading into Friday's game than last week's match when talk through the week was dominated by which two halfbacks the Brumbies would cut.

Ultimately Phibbs was retained and two other halves, Josh Holmes and James Stannard, were cut.

"It wouldn't have been my perfect preparation, it certainly was a bit of a distraction because it was always in the back of my mind," Phibbs said.

"They were asking for your best effort on the weekend in a must win game. I tried to put that behind me as much as I could and just worry about the job in hand. In saying that, I'm glad it's all over."

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