Wallabies mixed on Super Rugby switch
Wallabies and Queensland forward Scott Higginbotham says having just five-days to transition from Test match football back to Super Rugby will be a tough ask, especially with the Reds’ finals hopes on the line.
Higginbotham and fellow Queenslanders Will Genia, Digby Ioane, Anthony Faingaa and Rob Simmons must make an immediate re-adjustment to the different demands of provincial rugby for Friday’s must-win clash against the Melbourne Rebels at AAMI Park.
The defending premiers can’t afford a slip-up as they fight to either dislodge the Brumbies from top-spot in the Australian Conference or grind out a wildcard playoff spot on their own terms.
There’s a five-point gap separating them from the Brumbies, and just a point between them and the sixth-placed Hurricanes.
Wallabies coach Robbie Deans has stressed the importance of his players returning to their provinces as leaders and carrying form forward into the Rugby Championship in August.
Deans said the controversial new system of going back and forth between Test rugby and Super Rugby was a good thing because it refreshed players and fans.
Higginbotham said he and those backing up will have to dig deep.
“It’s not going to be easy going back to Super Rugby and it’s a complete different ball game and style of footy,” he told AAP.
Wallabies winger Adam Ashley-Cooper plays for the battling NSW Waratahs (who have a bye this week) and says the Test break will provide a boost.
“It does a lot for individual confidence. When you’re winning you put yourself in a good zone and hopefully you can carry that on and also just give a little bit more to the other players around you,” Ashley-Cooper said.
“We’ve got a week off so we’re definitely going to use that to recover and refresh ourselves and get back to the ‘Tah camp excited and ready to go for our last two games.”
Higginbotham said the Wallabies could have opened another can of worms had they lost the third Test, even though they’d already secured the series against Wales.
“It’s the old saying, you’re only as good as your last game and we knew if we lost this game there would be a lot of talk,” Higginbotham said.© AAP 2013
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