Brumbies: Far from one-trick ponies
SUPER RUGBY AU, FINAL: Former Wallabies captain Ben Mowen says the Brumbies aren’t one-trick ponies and has challenged them to play with dare in Saturday’s clash with the Queensland Reds.
While the Brumbies have been the clear standouts of Australian franchises in the past two years, Mowen said the “perception that they play the one style” had counted against them in the court of public opinion.
While their rolling maul remains a threat, Mowen says a willingness to spread the ball and attack from inside their own half had become natural this season.
“They’ve certainly changed that now,” he said.
“They’ve got more weapons now than just a maul and have played some great footy this year.
“What I really want is both teams to go out and really attack; the football’s been outstanding, ball in hand, lots of tries.
“It’s been an Australian brand of how to play, so hopefully that mindset is taken into Saturday,”
Mowen debuted for Australia as a 28-year-old and quickly assumed the captaincy, before retiring less than a year later to take up a deal in France.
Now back in Brisbane, the 35-year-old flank is playing club rugby and landed an assistant coaching role with the Junior Wallabies.
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The Reds comfortably beat the Brumbies in Brisbane a fortnight ago and, while without a win in Canberra for six years, came close in both trips to the nation’s capital this year.
With a foot in both camps, Mowen said Saturday’s decider in Canberra could go either way.
“Before the COVID break the Brumbies seemed to be leagues ahead of everyone else in the Australian conference,” he said.
“But the Reds have come out of that break in really good shape and they’re game’s developed massively in the last couple of weeks and momentum is just so important in finals.
“It’s going to be a real battle.”
He said it could come down to the battle between scrumhalves Nic White and Tate McDermott.
Emerging Reds talent McDermott is nipping at the heels of incumbent Wallabies No.9 White with Tests scheduled later this year.