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White versus Coetzee

18th March 2013 06:17

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Jake White: Understands the psyche of South African players

Brumbies boss Jake White said he was looking forward to Saturday's clash at Newlands, where he comes up against his ex-Springbok colleague.

The Brumbies tackle the Stormers in Cape Town this weekend after opening their South African tour with a big win (29-10) over the Sharks in Durban.

It was the Australian side's seventh consecutive win away from home, breaking the Super Rugby record of six which they had shared with the Crusaders.

They are also the only remaining unbeaten team in the tournament and will be looking to make it five from five when they go up against the Stormers, who are coached by Allister Coetzee - White's assistant and close friend when he was Springbok coach between 2004 and 2007.

"This is probably my big week because I'm going 'home' now," said former Cape Town resident White.

"I know Allister well, probably better than most coaches, because I coached with him for a long time.

"I know what the Stormers will present on Saturday. He's a fantastic guy and one of his great strengths is his ability to bring the best out of players.

"You don't win the South African conference like he has and win the Currie Cup unless you have an understanding of how you get the best out of your players.

"I'm looking forward to this weekend. Sure, the Stormers are coming off a bye and will have had a chance to look at our game against the Sharks, but it's also a case of two mates trying to have a crack at one another."

The red-hot Brumbies sit six points (23) clear at the top of the overall standings ahead of the defending champion Chiefs, while they're 10 in front of the Reds in the Australian conference.

A win over the tenth-placed Stormers will see the men from Canberra head back home with a rare double in the Republic. They then face their third South African opposition, the Bulls, in as many weeks at Canberra Stadium in Round Seven.

"It's a massive advantage for our team that I understand the psyche of South African players," White said. "For many years Brumbies teams came here in South Africa and lost.

"Maybe they didn't understand South Africa's rugby culture. Slowly my players are understanding what I've been saying to them. Rugby is massive in South Africa and players take it deadly seriously."

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