Brumbies deny there’s Super pressure
Ben Alexander has hit back at suggestions by former teammate Adam Ashley-Cooper that the Brumbies are the side under all the pressure ahead of Saturday night’s Super Rugby derby with NSW at ANZ Stadium.
Waratahs fullback Ashley-Cooper claimed the Brumbies would be under the pump because they have a finals berth on the line, while NSW could go into the match with nothing to lose.
However, Brumbies prop Alexander took a none-too-subtle dig at Ashley-Cooper and the struggling Waratahs for their lowly position on the ladder as the niggle builds for Saturday.
“I’m not going to say anything on it. He can say whatever he wants … I’d rather be in our place than there’s – that’s all I’ll say about it,” said Alexander on Thursday.
“No, I don’t think so (Brumbies under more pressure).
“We don’t worry about what anyone else does. We just worry about us. We can control our destiny.
“In the derby matches, the intensity levels are pretty much right up there with Test matches, especially against a side with so many Test match players. They know what playing at Test match intensity is like and, just fighting for Test match spots, it brings our intensity levels to Test match standard.”
Alexander is part of a tantalising front-row battle with six Wallabies going head to head.
Packing down alongside Alexander for the Brumbies are Australian cohorts Dan Palmer and Stephen Moore, while the Waratahs boast the Wallabies starting front row of Benn Robinson, Tatafu Polota-Nau and Sekope Kepu.
The Brumbies will be desperate for victory, knowing a win will likely wrap up top spot in the Australian conference and a home final.
However, the Canberra-based side have a terrible record in Sydney where they’ve won just once in the past 16 years and coach Jake White says the Brumbies know what they’re up against.
“They’re expected to win at home. The fans in Sydney expect them to not only win this game but to have been one of the standout teams in the competition,” said White.
“The reality is we just need to focus on what we do well. If we’d listened to every comment made before every game, we wouldn’t have won one.
“We know what we want to achieve.”
White said No.8 Fotu Auelua and outside back Joe Tomane should be ready to return to the field from injury next week against the Blues.© AAP 2013
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