Brumbies revisit attack for Super campaign - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Brumbies revisit attack for Super campaign

By Ed Logue 10/02/2011 11:13:45 AM Comments (0)

The Brumbies aim to revisit their successful golden era in the expanded Super Rugby competition through a renewed emphasis on attack.

Australia's sole winners of the southern hemisphere's provincial competition - in 2001 and 2004 - are determined to end a six-season absence from the finals.

"We're aiming to be the No.1 Australian side but there are four other sides wanting to do that too," Brumbies coach Andy Friend told AAP.

"That is definitely our ambition, our goal is to be there when the finals comes around."

Friend said last year's change in the interpretation at the breakdown to favour the attacking side was a positive step, which his team would better adapt to in 2011.

"In the previous few years because of how the tackle area was refereed, it was a bit of a liability as the defending team had more rights than you," he said.

"As a team, we prefer to move the ball around, to keep the ball in hand rather than kick it away."

Following several near misses in qualifying for the finals after 2004, the Canberra-based side renowned as the entertainers of the competition lost its edge in attack.

The Brumbies averaged nearly seven bonus points a season for scoring at least four tries a match when they made four finals and a semi-final between 2000 and 2004.

Since 2006, they have averaged only 3.4 try bonus points despite two extra matches a season.

Integral to the Brumbies regaining their attacking mojo is veteran Wallaby Matt Giteau.

Giteau started 2010 as the Wallabies flyhalf yet never settled at No.10 or 12 for the Brumbies and finished the year on the Test bench.

The 28-year-old failed to ignite the Brumbies' backline enough in 2010 to take advantage of outside backs including the destructive Adam Ashley-Cooper.

Friend is one of many relishing the prospect of more local derbies under the new conference system that will ensure the leading Australian side makes the six-team play-off format.

"That is probably the best thing with this new comp," he said.

"You have got the home and away with all the other teams in your country that is really exciting."

With 16 matches for each side in the regular season compared to 13 in 2010, Friend said player welfare will add to the selection from a squad of 31 players during the competition.

"Last year in a 13-game season, we used 35 players," he said.

"The way we manage our players through the season is going to be an important part of who is in the finals."

In a blow to the start of their season, the Brumbies will be without Wallabies captain Rocky Elsom for the opening month with a hamstring injury.

"It is disappointing that he won't be in until round six at the earliest," Friend said.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2023 AAP

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