Weather Gods even up Canberra contest

Date published: July 21 2016

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With wind and rain predicted for Friday's Super Rugby quarter-final clash between the Brumbies and Highlanders, it's anyone's game.

The Highlanders were superb against the Chiefs last week under the Forsyth Barr Stadium roof, with thrilling high-tempo rugby leading the hosts to a confidence boosting victory.

However, with the conditions unlikely to suit running rugby, Friday's encounter in Canberra is shaping up to be a war of attrition.

Highlanders head coach Jamie Joseph acknowledges this fact, but doesn't discount his men's chances at pulling off a victory.

"It's a real evener, isn't it, the wet and the wind," quipped Joseph on Stuff.

"We can't play to the speed and quality of skill that we were able to execute last week against the Chiefs under the roof.

"Again, it's going to come down to the small moments in the game, like it did last week, and those are the moments that we have to really nail if we want to be successful.

"I'd say we'd have a bit more experience in the cold and the wind training in Dunedin than the Australian boys and most other Super Rugby sides, we just play the game under a roof."

The Highlanders earned a comfortable 23-10 victory over the Brumbies at a chilly Invercargill in Round 10 of the competition, despite being a man down after a yellow card in the opening half.

Meanwhile, the Brumbies welcome the return of superstar David Pocock to the starting line-up after six weeks on the sideline following a fractured eye-socket in the June Tests.

However, Joseph is not too concerned about the return of the mercurial breakdown specialist.

"He's going to be a real boost for the Brumbies, but he's also a real boost for us because of the respect we have for him means we have to play even better than we did last week,” he added.

"It's something that our loose forwards will have in mind, that if they are not accurate and [don't] execute well at the breakdown then he's going to win that battle and it's something that we can't allow."

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