Planet Rugby



Brumbies must adapt - Larkham

01st August 2013 10:25


SKY_MOBILE Stephen Larkham Brumbies backs coach

Warning: Stephen Larkham

Brumbies assistant coach Stephen Larkham knows a repeat of the tactics from their semi-final win will not be enough against the Chiefs.

Tevita Kuridrani's late try sealed a 26-23 victory for Jake White's side at Loftus, putting them into a Super Rugby Final for the first time since 2004.

Larkham played in five finals, winning two titles, and knows full well about the pressures of playing on Super Rugby's biggest stage.

The former Wallaby fly-half added the experience of the likes of George Smith and Clyde Rathbone were a huge positive for the Brumbies young squad.

"We've certainly got to change our game plan to a certain extent and refocus on a different style of play," said Larkham.

"They're the best team in New Zealand.

"There's a number of challenges that go with playing in a final, obviously the atmosphere in Hamilton is something that the guys haven't played in front of before.

"Playing in a grand final and playing against the best New Zealand side is something we haven't done this year, so there's a number of challenges for these guys.

"Clyde and George both add a level of composure that other players probably don't have in this team and that's been really beneficial for the team in the last couple of games.

Larkham also reserved praise for Chiefs fly-half Aaron Cruden, highlighting the threat he offers in attack and how the 24-year-old outplayed Dan Carter in the semi-final.

"Aaron Cruden's had another fantastic year, you watch his last couple of games and he's been a really dangerous player with ball-in-hand," added Larkham.

"He's really elusive, I think the stats say something like one in every six times he touches the ball he gets a line break.

"He carved up Dan Carter last game and the previous game that they played against the Crusaders, so he's the in-form five-eighth at the moment.

"But you look at their backline and it doesn't stop there, they've got (Andrew) Horrell outside, they've got Bundee Aki, Gareth Anscombe at full-back and both wingers are really dangerous.

"Individually their backs are all really good players so you can't really single anyone out in particular otherwise you're going to forget about the other guy that makes a break against you."

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