Brumbies to play smart against Chiefs - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Brumbies to play smart against Chiefs

By Karlis Salna 14/05/2009 04:04:49 PM Comments (0)

The Brumbies will look to secure victory first and foremost before throwing caution to the wind in search of a vital bonus point in their make-or-break Super 14 clash with the Chiefs on Friday night.

The Brumbies can book a playoff berth for the first time since 2004 if they score a four-try bonus-point win and deny the second-placed Chiefs any bonus points in the process.

Despite the challenge before them, Brumbies coach Andy Friend is adamant the side will not be throwing the ball around willy nilly in search of early tries.

"When that comes into play will depend on the game," Friend said.

"In all honesty ... it's not even a thought. It's all about us playing our style of footy and making sure we secure the win.

"It may be at halftime. It may be at 60 minutes. It may be at 70 minutes where we feel like, 'okay we're now in a position to have a crack at another try or two more tries'.

"But it's about getting the win."

Friend is conscious of the fact that chasing tries against a potent attacking force such as the Chiefs can be a perilous venture.

"They've got a very solid forward pack and a back three that will damage you if you give them space, and they've got a midfield that can create opportunities," he said.

The Brumbies task has been made a little easier with Wallabies hooker Stephen Moore cleared to play after missing last week's win over the Blues with a hamstring injury.

Winger Clyde Rathbone will also make a return to the side after being sidelined for most of the season while Stirling Mortlock will shift back to his customary role at outside centre.

Mortlock has hit form at the right time of the season and was central to a Brumbies' second-half revival in their 37-15 win last Saturday in Canberra.

The Wallabies captain, who last week eclipsed former Crusaders five-eighth Andrew Mehrtens as the Super 14's all-time leading point scorer, said he was looking forward to testing himself against arguably the most dangerous side in the competition.

"The Chiefs are a team that test you all across the paddock," Mortlock said.

"We go into this match fully aware of the challenge we face."

He is also looking forward to returning to the midfield after spending the past few weeks on the wing, a move prompted by injuries to a number of Brumbies backs.

"I get an opportunity to go back into the centres and hopefully I can get my hands on the pill a bit more and get a bit more involved in the game."

The Chiefs have strung together eight wins in the past nine outings but won't be taking the Brumbies lightly.

Chiefs captain Mils Muliaina knows his side is in the box seat with a solitary bonus point being all that's needed to secure their second Super 14 semi-finals appearance.

"The good thing that we know is that our destiny is in our own hands. If we do it right on Friday, we can sit back and hopefully make the semi-finals," Muliaina said.

"But we have to do our job first. It would be nice to have a home semi. But we clearly know we could still miss out if we don't do things right this Friday."

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