Rea changes tune on Brumbies - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Rea changes tune on Brumbies

By Justin Chadwick 22/05/2011 01:13:08 PM Comments (0)

Coach Tony Rea credited a speech from skipper Matt Giteau with lifting his maligned Brumbies team as they fought out a 13-13 Super Rugby draw with the Western Force in Perth.

Also boosted by the return of Wallabies skipper Rocky Elsom, the Brumbies held firm in defence and conceded just one try, despite a match-long onslaught from the Force on Saturday night.

Both sides had a chance to win after the final siren, but Giteau's 45m drop goal attempt was charged down and James O'Connor's 51m penalty near the touchline fell well short of the mark.

Rea had been publicly scathing of his side's attitude following last round's 29-20 loss to the Lions.

And despite the 13th-placed Brumbies producing numerous unforced errors against the Force, Rea was happy with the commitment shown.

"Listen, if people asked me to be honest last week, I have to be honest this week - yes (I am satisfied), we left nothing out there," Rea said.

"I was very, very happy with that.

"I thought we were outstanding in the way we were as a team.

"We were being honest with ourselves; our standards of what we would accept went up a level.

"We took ourselves into some uncomfortable positions during the week.

"There were a couple of questions around us as a group whether the pressure was something that was going to crack us and it didn't. So that was really pleasing.

"The 2011 Brumbies stood together and stood tight. They weren't distracted by 2012 or anything different going on there. They just got on with doing their job."

Rea revealed a stirring speech from Giteau on the eve of the match helped inspire the side out of their rut.

"I listened to what he said to them and I thought he got more (out of them) than anything I said or did earlier in the week," Rea said.

"So they did it themselves in my opinion."

Elsom, playing his first match since November, suffered a scare in the 51st minute when his knee twisted awkwardly in a tackle at a breakdown.

But he played out the match, shaking off a slight limp to finish the contest strongly.

"(He) got a bloody nose and a twisted knee, so there were chances to go off. (But he) made a strong decision and kept it going and I thought he was good at the end," Rea said.

Force prop Pek Cowan is expected to miss the rest of the season after suffering a suspected broken jaw in a first-half head clash with team-mate Nathan Charles.

And five-eighth Willie Ripia, subbed off early in the second half after struggling with a calf complaint, is in danger of missing the Force's upcoming two-game trip to New Zealand.

Force coach Richard Graham said his team's inability to convert their possession dominance and excellent field position into points cost them victory.

"I'll say it's better than a loss but, no, not satisfied," Graham said.

The 13th-placed Brumbies face tough games against the high-flying Stormers (home) and Queensland (away) in the next fortnight, while the 12th-placed Force tackle the Hurricanes and Highlanders in New Zealand.

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