Mortlock says backs must lift - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Mortlock says backs must lift

By Glenn Cullen 19/03/2004 07:52:48 PM Comments (0)

Stirling Mortlock believes unshackling the Brumbies backline could be the key to turning around the ACT's fortunes in South Africa against the Stormers.

In a week where the ACT forwards wore criticism for a sometimes lacklustre performance in the 32-21 loss against the Bulls, Mortlock said it was also up to the backs to lift significantly.

"As a backline we felt we could have done a lot better as far as counter attack and our other options went such as kicking," the Brumbies captain said from Cape Town.

"We didn't get too much momentum and a lot of the backs found it difficult to get into the game.

"Across the backline we felt we could have done quite a few things better - we'll need to against the Stormers."

The backs struggled as much as the forwards in the big wet of Pretoria with the likes of winger Joe Roff and five-eighth Steve Larkham not having the best of games.

But the Bulls' devastating use of the rolling maul drew much of the negative attention to the Brumbies pack.

Coach David Nucifora conceded his side wasn't up to scratch when playing in the rain but it is not expected to be an issue in Cape Town on the weekend with fine weather forecast.

Mortlock believes the Stormers' fortunes are also linked closely to the performance of their backs, who have looked the most impressive of the South African Super 12 teams so far in 2004.

"Out of all the South African teams they are probably the one that can vary and mix up their game the most," he said.

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