Super Rugby
Nathan Grey: Brumbies benchmark at the breakdown
ESPN Staff
March 15, 2014
Scott Fardy is one of the Brumbies strongest players at the breakdown and will be a huge threat to the Waratahs © Getty Images

Waratahs defence coach Nathan Grey has told Fairfax Media that his side will need to return all the pressure placed on them when they face one of Australia's best packs at the breakdown.

The Brumbies don't look to have lost any momentum with the loss of injured No.7 David Pocock as they remain the strongest side at the breakdown winning more rucks then all but one team in the competition.

"They've been the benchmark at the breakdown in the Australian conference for the last two years, that area of their game is very strong and they're very confident there," Grey said.

"It's up to us to make sure that we match fire with fire and bring a few things to the table to not only break down that strong defence and breakdown but to also put them under pressure ourselves."

Under forwards coach Laurie Fischer, it has become a whole team effort at the breakdown lead by Wallabies captain Ben Mowen, Scott Fardy and relative newcomer Jarrad Butler.

"They support their ball carriers very well, they really look after them, and then in defence they led the competition last year in turnovers at the breakdown," Grey said.

"They're very efficient in capitalising on poor ball carrying from the opposition and also if you're sloppy with your support they're going to be on the ball and turning it over with the likes of Fardy and [Stephen] Moore, who are very strong over the ball."

Once criticised for their highly effective but "boring" kicking game, the Brumbies have thrown away the "boring" tag scoring four tries against the Hurricanes and three tries against the Force under new coach Stephen Larkham.

"They're a slightly different kettle of fish to last year, they are scoring a lot more tries," Grey said. "That makes it difficult because they're probably trying to introduce a few things that are new and that we haven't seen before ... We've got to be wary of what they're going to try to do and where they attack on the field."

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