Brumbies v British & Irish Lions
Brumbies won't adopt new plan for Lions
June 17, 2013
Fullback Jesse Mogg's kicking game will be crucial to the Brumbies' chances © Getty Images
Brumbies coach Jake White says Jesse Mogg and Matt Toomua will find out if they're up to Test level when his side sticks to their tried and tested game plan against the British & Irish Lions on Tuesday night.
The Brumbies are opting to take a different approach to that of the Queensland Reds and New South Wales Waratahs, who attempted to tire the big Lions players with their expansive, free-flowing styles.
The Brumbies' game plan, on the other hand, focuses on obtaining dominant field position from the boots of fly-half Toomua, fullback Mogg and scrum-half Nic White, and then digging the defensive heels in.
While coach White says the loss of White to a shoulder injury for the clash at Canberra Stadium will be a massive territorial loss, it won't steer the Brumbies away from the blueprint that has all but earned them an Australian Super Rugby conference win.
"We're not going to play like the Reds. We're not going to play like the Waratahs," he said. "We'll just play to what's working for us every weekend. Everyone else has tried their styles. It hasn't worked so we might as well try ours."
He said the clash will be a great chance for Toomua and Mogg to press their claims for Wallabies berths.
"They'll know tomorrow night after the fixture whether they can or can't go onto the next level," he said on Monday.
But with the fixture being played less than one week out from the first Test in Brisbane on Saturday, the Brumbies might just have the best chance yet of toppling the Lions.
Within the past three days, the Lions have flown wingers Shane Williams and Christian Wade into Australia, as well as centres Brad Barritt and Billy Twelvetrees to join the closest thing there is to a second-string Lions side.
The ACT franchise also has a history of pushing the Lions to the limit. An under-strength Brumbies side went agonisingly close to an underdog upset against the Lions 12 years ago, a converted try after the siren snuffing out the most unlikely of wins.
The Brumbies will be looking for players to step up once more, as they'll be missing 12 players for the clash owing to injury and the Wallabies camp.
"And they're average players like David Pocock and George Smith," White mused.