NSW expect the unexpected against ACT - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

NSW expect the unexpected against ACT

By Melissa Woods 18/04/2004 09:23:55 PM Comments (0)

The wary NSW Waratahs are ready for even more than the usual "razzle-dazzle" from the ACT Brumbies in next Saturday's crucial interstate Super 12 rugby encounter.

The Waratahs resurrected their season after four successive away losses with an impressive 49-31 win over the Hurricanes back on home turf, but it could all end at the hands of the Brumbies.

NSW coach Ewen McKenzie has a wealth of knowledge about the competition frontrunners after his stints as a player and assistant coach in Canberra, enough to expect the unexpected in the sellout Aussie Stadium match.

McKenzie said knowing individual ACT players well gave him some insight but the Brumbies regularly ambushed their rivals and their weekend bye gave them more time to cook up something different.

"They've had two weeks to prepare for this game so it won't surprise me if they've got some new stuff on display," McKenzie said.

"We're not going to beat ourselves up trying to predict too much about what they're going to do.

"We know from watching that they're pretty good at doing a lot of things so we're going to have to be able to cope with any surprises and make sure we don't get distracted."

The seven-try NSW victory pushed the Waratahs to sixth place, and it could have been a place higher if the Crusaders, who blew a 30-point lead, didn't manage a last-minute penalty kick to edge out the lowly-ranked Cats 39-37 in Johannesburg.

After nine rounds, the Brumbies are on top with 30 points, followed by the Blues-beating Stormers (28), Crusaders (25) and Sharks (25).

The much-improved Chiefs are fifth on 23 after toppling the Sharks in Durban, with NSW and the Bulls on 22.

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