Brumbies coach takes friendly approach - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Brumbies coach takes friendly approach

By Karlis Salna 22/04/2010 04:28:41 PM Comments (0)

Brumbies coach Andy Friend says the rivalry between his team and the Waratahs is fierce without being spiteful ahead of Saturday's Super 14 blockbuster in Sydney.

Despite highlighting the Waratahs' lack of a Super rugby title, compared to the Brumbies' two, Friend denied the rivalry between the two combatants amounted to a hatred.

The Brumbies are Australia's most successful Super rugby team, having played finals in 1997, 2000, 2001 and 2004, and winning the championship in 2001 and 2004.

"There's always rivalry," Friend said on Thursday, adding that was particularly the case when Wallabies jerseys were at stake.

"It adds a little bit more spice, but in terms of hatred, I don't think there is any."

The Waratahs are the only other Australian province to reach the Super 14 final, beaten in the 2005 decider by the Crusaders.

But Friend, trying to avoid giving the Waratahs any fuel for Saturday's crucial clash, rejected suggestions the Brumbies closest neighbours were perennial underachievers.

"They're going well ... they haven't won a title yet," he said.

"That's obviously every team's ambition to win a title and they're probably hoping this year's their year."

Just three points separate the two sides going into this weekend, with the Waratahs in fifth place and a point outside of the top four with just four matches to play.

The Brumbies take on the Reds in Canberra next week, followed by another home match against the Highlanders before facing the formidable task of tackling the Crusaders in Christchurch.

Friend is mindful a loss against the Waratahs this weekend would all but end the Brumbies' finals prospects.

"It's the nature of this competition. We've won 66 per cent of our games yet if we don't win this weekend we may well be out of the comp."

Friend believes the Waratahs can be exposed in broken play.

"They're very dominant in their set-piece and their structured play and so we need to make sure that with those first two phases we're dominating there.

"If we can get into a scrap and get unstructured play up, that's the style we want to play, and it may well unsettle them."

The Brumbies have made five changes to their starting side from last week's 23-13 loss to the Hurricanes.

Halfback Josh Valentine returns after recovering from a hamstring injury while lock Mitchell Chapman (hip), also comes back into the starting XV.

Outside centre Andrew Smith will start for the first time with Adam Ashley-Cooper moving back to the wing, while Colby Faingaa also makes his run-on debut, replacing Michael Hooper on the flank.

Brumbies: Julian Huxley, Pat McCabe, Andrew Smith, Tyrone Smith, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Matt Giteau, Josh Valentine, Stephen Hoiles (capt), Colby Faingaa, Rocky Elsom, Mark Chisholm, Mitchell Chapman, Salesi Ma'afu, Stephen Moore, Ben Alexander. Res: Huia Edmonds, Guy Shepherdson, Ben Hand, Michael Hooper, Patrick Phibbs, Brackin Karauria-Henry, Alfie Mafi.

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