ACT Brumbies

Week 6 Preview – Brumbies v. Sharks

Week 6 Preview – Brumbies v. Sharks

The Shorks swim into town to take on the surprise Aussie conference table topping Brumbies on Saturday night at ‘fortress’ Canberra Stadium.

The match last week against the Highlanders was a very physical affair and the same can be expected again this week against the Durban based side.

The Brumbies have made some changes to their starting XV for this match with some enforced changes and some that appear to be part of a rotation policy. Last weeks two try hero Joe Tomane makes way for Pat McCabe on the wing whilst Christian Lealiifano moves out one place to inside centre due to the return of Matt Toomua at fly-half.

Ian Prior retains his place as the starting scrum half whilst Nic White recovers from an illness that has been lingering for a few weeks now. The same illness has struck down Dan Palmer and he is rested this week with Ruaidhri (or Rory to his mates) Murphy making a start at loosehead prop which sees Ben Alexander swap to the other side of the scrum to loosehead.

The Sharks went down in the last 10 minutes to the Waratahs and faded quite badly in the final period of the match. The extra week on Australian soil will help the side overcome a losing hoodoo in the Capital where the last time they won was way back in 1998.

The changes in the Sharks side will ensure the Brumbies fringe defenders are kept busy with speed to burn in their back line. JP Pietersen returns at outside centre to provide some experience alongside Tim Whitehead. French fly-half Frederic Michalak gets a start at the expense of up and comer Patrick Lambie who is missing due to what officials call a ‘dental injury’ which could mean anything from brushing his teeth too hard to having a few pearly whites knocked out of place.

The Sharks front row looks very dangerous and the du Plessis brothers will provide a challenge up front for their Brumbies counterparts. Hooker Bismarck du Plessis scored a try of his own last week and will be hoping his surgeon brother Jannie can slice through the Brumbies defence to get one of his own on tour.

Their backrow also looks dangerous and last weeks Brumbies hero Michael Hooper will need to pull out another sublime performance if they are to get on top in this match. It will be interesting to see if Marcell Coetzee has managed to remove Dean Mumm’s hand print from his face and Allianz Stadium grass from his mouth to be ready for this match. He is also going for his third straight match of being speared into the ground so his tackling technique will come under scrutiny.


Brumbies: 15. Jesse Mogg, 14. Pat McCabe, 13. Andrew Smith, 12. Christian Lealiifano, 11. Henry Speight, 10. Matt Toomua 9. Ian Prior, 8. Ben Mowen (c), 7. Michael Hooper, 6. Peter Kimlin, 5. Sam Carter, 4. Leon Power, 3. Ben Alexander, 2. Stephen Moore, 1. Ruaidhri Murphy.
Res: Anthony Hegarty, 17. Scott Sio, 18. Scott Fardy, 19. Ita Vaea, 20. Nic White, 21. Zack Holmes, 22. Joe Tomane.

Sharks: 15. Riaan Viljoen, 14. Odwa Ndgungane, 13. JP Pietersen, 12. Tim Whitehead, 11. Lwazi Mvovo, 10. Frederic Michalak, 9. Charl McLeod, 8. Keegan Daniel (c), 7. Willem Alberts, 6. Marcell Coetzee, 5. Jandre Marais, 4. Steven Sykes, 3. Jannie du Plessis, 2. Bismarck du Plessis, 1. Dale Chadwick.
Res: 16. Craig Burden, 17. Wiehahn Herbst, 18. Anton Bresler, 19. Jean Deysel, 20. Jacques Botes, 21. Meyer Bosman, 22. Louis Ludik.


Kick off for this match will be at 7:40pm on Saturday evening and will be the third match of four in a row on Super Saturday. Referee Keith Brown enjoyed himself so much in the Cheetahs game that he has come back to Canberra for another turn in the middle.

Referee: Keith Brown (NZ)
Assistant referees: Angus Gardner (Aus), James Leckie (Aus)
Television match official: Steve Lesczcynski (Aus)

Game Breaker

Both teams have their number 8 as their captain and it will come down to a tactical battle in this match. Jake Whites intimate knowledge of the South African style of play, which some observers say the Brumbies are starting to play, is an obvious advantange especially against a team that has struggled at this venue. Mowen’s leadership is starting to take shape and is helping this young team as they learn the ropes of SupeRugby.

The fearless prediction

The Brumbies are full of confidence and riding high after last weeks win. Home wins are vital to keep your season on track and I can see another brutal forwards battle ensuing with the home side getting home by 5 points.

ACT Brumbies

Canberra born and bred Rugby fan brought up on Canberra Kookaburra and ACT Brumbies Rugby.

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