'No player dobbed in any other player in Dublin'
March 11, 2014
Ben Mowen was accused of 'dobbing' players in during the 'Dublin drinking dramas' © Getty Images
Ewen McKenzie has poured cold water on suggestions that Ben Mowen 'dobbed in' Wallabies team-mates after the infamous drinking session in Dublin last November.
McKenzie reprimanded and suspended 15 players after the incident in Ireland, and Greg Growden reported for ESPN in November that Wallabies and Brumbies captain Mowen was believed to have alerted the coach. Hooker Stephen Moore recently has also been implicated in alerting McKenzie, and the coming weekend's Brumbies-Waratahs match is tipped to explode given the 'Dublin XV' featured eight New South Wales players expected to start in Canberra - namely Dave Dennis, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Benn Robinson, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Paddy Ryan, Kane Douglas, Bernard Foley and Nick Phipps.
Dennis told News Corp on Monday "there were guys there who were disappointed with how things went," but McKenzie said "no player dobbed in any other player in Dublin or anywhere else".
Wallabies management and some players denied at the time that players had been "dobbed in" by team-mates for staying out, but Greg Growden reported a different story at the time in Ruck'n Maul and subsequently wrote that this weekend's Brumbies-Waratahs fixture "could be the match for important get-squares after some unsavoury off-field incidents during the Wallabies' end-of-season European tour last year".
Reports this week have emerged that Mowen and Moore would be players of focus for the Tahs this Saturday, but the Brumbies told News Corp that Mowen did not wish to comment.
The incident divided the Wallabies at the time - with the side refraining from physical contact at training for the rest of the tour - but Dennis on Monday played down talk of revenge.
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"A lot of that stuff was out of our hands really so it's hard to blame anyone for it, it's happened and you move on," Dennis told News Corp . "There were guys there who were disappointed with how things went, but that's three or four months ago now. All that stuff is in the past, every time you look at an Australian team you want to get the wood over them, we want to win our conference that is first and foremost.
As the Brumbies-Waratahs derby start to exceed the NSW-Queensland fixture as the biggest Australian rivalry, Dennis said the side had enough motivation - topping the Australian Conference - without relying on the Dublin drama.
"We talked about finishing first or second, and the best way to do that is by winning your conference. We know the importance of these local derbies. We're really happy with the way we've started, since we've got back here all the guys have worked really hard and had a good drive to try to play some good rugby.
"We're going down there very much with the mindset of NSW beating ACT, there's nothing more to it."
But Dennis believes the Waratahs will use any opportunity to "whack" their Brumbies rivals. "There's always going to be a bit of feeling isn't there, we want to play our type of game and be nice and physical, so if there's an opportunity to whack one of the Brumbies boys we'll try to do it," Dennis said.
"That's how we want to play as a team, that's our style.
"There is never any love lost, I think against the Reds you saw a bit of feeling too in the way the boys played and the way the forwards played, nice and physical, plenty of shots on. We went down there last year and got belted around as a forward pack; we don't want that to happen again, if that means getting stuck into some of our national teammates then so be it."
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