Player power faces on-field test - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Player power faces on-field test

By David Beniuk And Ed Logue 04/03/2011 06:14:16 PM Comments (0)

Player power at the Brumbies might have seen off sacked coach Andy Friend.

But it is their potency on the field that will be under the spotlight when they host Queensland in Saturday night's Super Rugby clash.

Brumbies boss Andrew Fagan was adamant this week the decision to sack Friend was his, but speculation persists that senior players wanted the coach axed and the pressure's mounting to prove they were right.

Injured captain Stephen Hoiles admitted the players contributed to the decision, even if they didn't make it.

A media report on Friday suggested the re-signing of star players may have been contingent on changes to the coaching set-up, while another said upset fans were ready to walk away if the new hierarchy didn't deliver, especially after last weekend's surprise 25-24 loss to new chums Melbourne.

Stand-in skipper Matt Giteau was vague when asked on Friday about the players' role.

"The way things are, you have got your coaches there and you have got your players as well," he said.

"In any club anyway, you can work together at getting that relationship as strong as possible."

He said that was happening with new boss Tony Rea.

"I get along really well with him, all the playing group get along with him," Giteau said.

"He is very passionate when he talks and commands a lot of respect within the group."

The Reds arrived in the national capital wary of the turmoil as they seek their first ever win over the Brumbies at Canberra Stadium.

"Last time they sacked their coach they won the comp (2004)," Queensland stand-in captain Will Genia told AAP.

"They've always been run, so I've heard, by the senior players that they have in their group because they've always had guys like George Gregan, Stephen Larkham.

"Now they've got guys like Gits (Giteau), Coopy (Adam Ashley-Cooper), Rocky Elsom, Stephen Moore, senior guys within the team.

"I guess it's something that works for them and you can't really question it.

"At times like this it can really galvanise a group, so I think they'll stick tight as a team and they'll come out ready to rip."

The Reds' 30-6 thrashing by NSW last week means the Brumbies are favourites, but the Canberrans will need to make better use of the ball after winning an overwhelming share of possession against the Rebels.

"We can't afford to play the way we did last week where we were probably a bit off the pace and expecting things to happen," Giteau said.

"Decision-making was a big one, execution of skills as well."

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2023 AAP

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