Brumbies have plan to stop Reds duo - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Brumbies have plan to stop Reds duo

29/04/2010 04:03:57 PM Comments (0)

Brumbies coach Andy Friend believes he has come up with the right strategy to negate the influence of the Reds' dynamic duo Will Genia and Quade Cooper.

The ACT side, coming off two losses in a row, go into this Saturday's Super 14 clash against the fourth-placed Reds in Canberra needing a win if they are to have any hope of making the finals.

But they will have to do it without the services of Wallabies veteran outside centre Stirling Mortlock and fullback Julian Huxley, both of whom will miss the Australian derby with back injuries.

Mortlock trained with the side on Thursday but was later ruled out, giving Australian sevens representative Brackin Karauria-Henry his first starting cap after making his debut against the Waratahs last weekend.

In the Brumbies' favour is the fact that the Queensland side has never won in Canberra.

But the Reds, under Ewen McKenzie, are also having their best season in almost a decade, turning around a long run of disappointing efforts after finishing in the bottom half of the table since 2003.

Central to that resurgence is the side's halves combination with Genia seemingly set for the Wallabies No.9 jersey and Cooper in line to snare the five-eighth role.

"They are on top of their game at the moment," Friend said on Thursday.

"If you leave one little chink in your defensive line, Genia seems to find it and if he's not finding it Cooper seems to find it.

"That's a real challenge for us and our defensive line this week."

The threat posed by Genia and Cooper again dominated discussions between senior players before training on Thursday.

The Brumbies have focused much of their training this week on limiting the influence of Genia and Cooper and the threat posed by pair again dominated discussions between senior players before training on Thursday.

"That's now our challenge to hopefully keep them at bay," Friend said.

And the ACT coach is confident he has come up with the right game plan to keep both players quiet and ensure the Brumbies' undefeated record against the Reds at Canberra Stadium remains intact.

"We'd like to keep it that way," he said.

"It's something that we can control."

The team has also put the drama surrounding last week's loss to the Waratahs and stoush with referee Steve Walsh well behind them.

While No.10 Matt Giteau was fined $5000 for his criticism of Walsh, the penalty will be seen as worth the cost with the furore over the Waratahs game also seeing the referee, who was also scheduled to take charge of the clash with the Reds, stood down this week.

"It was a fair hearing," Friend said of the Giteau case which was heard by a SANZAR judiciary on Wednesday night.

"He obviously stated his case and copped a fine."

"That's now behind us and we'll focus on the Reds game."

Brumbies: Adam Ashley-Cooper, Pat McCabe, Andrew Smith, Tyrone Smith, Brackin Karauria-Henry, 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, Jerry Yanuyanutawa, Ben Hand, Michael Hooper, Patrick Phibbs, Robbie Coleman, Ed Stubbs.

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