Brumbies not talking rugby finals just yet
Just four tries or a loss by seven points or less stands between the Brumbies and their first Super Rugby finals in almost a decade, but try telling that to any of Jake White’s men.
They are adamant the “F-word” remains a pipe dream until after Saturday’s clash with the lowly-ranked Blues.
Although they’re in touching distance of their first finals campaign since 2004, prop Ruaidhri Murphy was succinct when asked if finals were on the mind.
“No. (Because) this week is the pinnacle and we’ve got to win this week – it’s as simple as that.
“We win this week and then we can worry about next week and finals footy and we can realise that opportunity if we get it.
“But we have to earn it.”
The Brumbies are five points clear of the Queensland Reds, which means a bonus point would be sufficient to secure a finals berth as the leaders of the Australian conference – a spot they’ve held for much of the year.
But winger Jesse Mogg, who has shone in the Brumbies’ backline this year earning him a Wallabies berth, insists only a win will do.
“We’re not in the finals just yet. We really need to win and we need to improve from last week.”
In a final-quarter surge, the Brumbies fought from a 15-9 deficit against NSW last week to a 19-15 victory, with Murphy acknowledging that a willingness to put their bodies on the line earned the comeback win.
It will also prove important against the Blues, who have the capacity to hurt in attack, despite what their win-loss ratio suggests.
“They’ve got attacking threats everywhere, so it’ll be about us sticking to our guns, defending well and being patient,” Murphy said.
The Brumbies do have one major headache to overcome ahead of the game, with Wallabies winger Joe Tomane likely to be cleared of an ankle injury he suffered in training with the Australian squad last month.
Since then, Mogg has been moved to the vacant wing spot, while Robbie Coleman has been playing solidly at fullback.
Mogg said he’d be satisfied with whatever coach White ends up deciding.
“They’re still waiting on Joe’s fitness, but I’m happy to do whatever benefits the team and, if it’s at No.15 or on the bench, I’m happy,” he said.© AAP 2013
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