Super Rugby Final: Chiefs 27-22 Brumbies
Brumbies to have only one week break
August 4, 2013
Prop Scott Sio is one of 12 Brumbies in the Wallabies 40-man training squad assembling in Sydney © Getty Images
The Brumbies will break for just one week following their heartbreaking Super Rugby final loss to the Chiefs before launching an assault on the 2014 premiership.
Coach Jake White is keen to continue the development of his young side, who are making clear progress after finishing third last in 2011.
The Brumbies just missed the playoffs with a final round loss last year, and then fell at the final hurdle 27-22 to defending champions the Chiefs in Saturday night's final in Hamilton.
"A week off and then we'll start again. We'll move on," White said. "It starts again from nought. We've got to make sure whatever has happened this year is irrelevant when we get back to pre-season and start again. The ride's not over yet, we're two years into a four year campaign so there's a long way to go."
The Brumbies were 10-points up against the Chiefs with 15 minutes to play when their opponents staged a stunning 15-point comeback with two tries and a penalty goal.
Despite the side's evident progress, disappointed Brumbies captain Ben Mowen said he wouldn't look back on this season as a successful one.
"Success is when you've got a full trophy cabinet, we know that," Mowen said. "But we certainly will take momentum out of this year. After this week off 2014 starts for us. We want to make sure that come this week next year we're sitting here with a trophy."
And while a seven day break sounds gruelling enough, the Brumbies' 12 Wallabies squad members have until just Monday afternoon to make it to Sydney for the Rugby Championship training camp. Yet the future of the Brumbies looks very bright.
When White took over the reins as coach in 2011-12 the Brumbies had just three players in the Wallabies squad. If winger Henry Speight was eligible, legendary flanker George Smith wasn't leaving, and both David Pocock and Pat McCabe weren't injured, they'd have up to 16 players taking up the 40 spots available in the current squad. Mowen will attempt to overcome his disappointment by aiming for a spot in the first Bledisloe Cup Test on August 17.
"I'm just focused on recovery and will start prep again. It's part of the circle," Mowen said. "You don't need anymore motivation than a Bledisloe sitting there to get up for it so the guys are excited about that next challenge. I'm going to push hard for representation. I'd love to play the Kiwis, it would be unreal."