New Brumbies coach shows faith in team - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

New Brumbies coach shows faith in team

By Ed Logue 03/03/2011 05:47:31 PM Comments (0)

New coach Tony Rea opted to give Brumbies players a chance to redeem themselves in Saturday's Super Rugby clash with the Queensland Reds.

Preparing for his first match in charge following Tuesday's sacking of Andy Friend, former assistant Rea made only one forced change to the starting team that slumped to a shock loss to newcomers Melbourne Rebels last week.

Line-breaking loose forward Colby Faingaa moves from the bench to replace the suspended Mitchell Chapman at blindside breakaway.

"It has been a reasonably turbulent week, so we are looking for a bit of stability in the team," said Rea with some understatement on Thursday.

"A lot of guys want to get back after the performance of last week where they were not really happy with themselves as a rugby team."

The Brumbies' attack, marshalled by Matt Giteau at five eighth, failed to take advantage of having three quarters of possession, foundering in the face of fierce Rebels defence in their one-point away loss.

Rea was ready to take a bigger part on match day than in his previous role of defence coach, which he has kept following the promotion.

"It is different from my end," Rea said.

"Probably I'll have to talk a little bit more than I have before."

Rea said Faingaa had earned his promotion.

"Obviously his performances are a big factor for that," Rea said. "He had a terrific game down in Melbourne."

Classy utility Christian Lealiifano replaces Andrew Smith as the outside back replacement on the bench as he returns to the Brumbies' line-up for the first time since suffering a serious knee injury against the Blues in Auckland a year ago.

His selection gives the Brumbies cover at fullback, centre and five-eighth.

"He gives us good versatility, good strike, good talk and good add-ons when he comes on," Rea.

While a lack of production in attack appeared the biggest problem in Melbourne, Wallabies hooker Stephen Moore said they had to improve their defence from the first two matches, particularly with the threat from the Reds' Wallabies halves duo Quade Cooper and Will Genia.

"The Waratahs showed defence can win games last week in the pressure they put the Reds under," Moore said.

Moore, a former Reds player with 47 Super caps, said the Brumbies' record of winning all nine Super matches at home against Queensland and losing only one of 16 overall was a "proud record" for the club.

"But as far as this group goes, it doesn't mean a lot this weekend," he said.

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