Difficult task awaits Brumbies

23rd Jul 2013, 14:09

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Jake White: Expects a tough assignment

Jake White: Expects a tough assignment

Brumbies boss Jake White knows that a huge task awaits his side when they face the Bulls in Saturday's semi-final in Pretoria.

Brumbies boss Jake White knows that a huge task awaits his side when they face the Bulls in Saturday's semi-final in Pretoria.

The odds are stacked heavily against the Canberra-based side as the Bulls rarely lose in their own backyard.

Added to that, the men from Pretoria will be refreshed after last weekend's bye while the Brumbies are still recovering after struggling to a 15-13 win over the Cheetahs in their play-off in Canberra on Sunday.

The Bulls head into this weekend's clash with the statistics weighing heavily in their favour.

They have won 22 out of 24 of their home games against Australasian teams over the past five years and haven't lost to the Brumbies in Pretoria since 2006.

The men from Pretoria have also won all five of their home finals games, two of which were played at Orlando Stadium in Soweto, because of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

White - who coached the Springboks to win the 2007 Rugby World Cup - also caused a stir last week when he said that Australian rugby players are smarter than their South African rivals.

When asked if his players would embrace the week in South Africa head-on, White gave a tongue-in-cheek reply.

"They (the players) will go out, I will probably stay in my room," he told AAP.

White said this week's preparations for the semi-final in South Africa would be an experience his young side would likely never forget.

"It doesn't get bigger for this group of players than a semi-final at Loftus," he explained.

"I've heard it's a sell-out crowd with 50,000 to 60,000 expected.

"It's going to be tough. Let's not kid ourselves. We're flying now to the other side of the world and playing in country where rugby is one, two and three as their (favourite) code."

The Brumbies will, however, fancy their chances despite being overwhelming underdogs.

They secured a 23-20 victory over the Bulls in Canberra in Round Seven, but also delivered one of their best performances of the season in beating the Sharks 29-10 in Durban, thanks largely to four first half tries.

The latter result was an ambush which White refuses to rule out for this weekend.

"Who knows? Maybe we'll do the same thing," said White.

"There's no reason why - if we prepare properly - that we can't give ourselves a crack at getting a result."