Planet Rugby

I've got nothing to prove - White

25th July 2013 10:31

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Jake White and Ben Mowen SR 2013

Quietly confident: Jake White and Ben Mowen

Brumbies boss Jake White believes he has nothing to prove to the Australian Rugby Union, in his team's semi-final, after he was overlooked for the Wallabies job this month.

White has lifted the Brumbies from competition battlers, just two years ago, to within two games of the Super Rugby title and Saturday the Canberra-based side face the Bulls in Pretoria.

But despite the turnaround he has initiated at the Brumbies the ARU gave the Wallabies coaching job to Ewen McKenzie when Robbie Deans was fired, saying he understood the Australian style.

The Brumbies won the Australian conference title ahead of the Reds who were bundled out of the play-offs last weekend.

''I've got nothing to prove, I just do this job because I love it,'' White told the Canberra Times.

''I put my hand up to coach international rugby, I didn't get the job and that's the way it goes.

''You've got to keep going. It's not a show of trying to prove anything to anyone, it's just about doing the best I can.''

The Brumbies are aiming to become the first team in Super Rugby history to beat the Bulls at their home ground in a finals match.

They came close to beating the Bulls in Pretoria in 2012, but, despite outscoring their hosts by five tries to two, still lost 36-34.

Springboks fly-half Morne Steyn led the charge with a 24-point haul in that match for the men from Pretoria.

But while Steyn's goal-kicking at altitude looms as a dangerous threat, Brumbies captain Ben Mowen said the visitors wouldn't hold back at the breakdown.

The Brumbies are the most penalised team in the tournament, but have also won the most turnovers at the breakdown.

''We learnt last year that you have to take your shots early, we had an ordinary start against the Bulls last time,'' Mowen said.

''We closed the gap late but to be fair they clocked off knowing the game was done. Morne can kick them from anywhere and the Bulls rely heavily on him to accumulate pressure and build points.

''We have to be disciplined early ... we'll go as hard as normal at the breakdown. Our motto is that possession has to be contested and we won't be giving them anything for free.''

The Brumbies broke a nine-year play-off drought when they edged out the Cheetahs 15-13 in Canberra last weekend with their points coming via five penalties from inside centre Christian Leali'ifano.

White said the Brumbies are preparing for a physical onslaught from their hosts, who were on a nine-match winning streak before sufering a defeat to the Stormers in the last round of the league phase of the competition two weeks ago.

''I'm not going to deny we play knock-out football every week, when we started we had to go back to winning ways and sometimes people say that's conservative,'' he explained.

''But you've got to get the building blocks in. We've got a recipe for getting results.

''We want to write our own chapter. We're mindful and respectful of what the Bulls have done, but history [against the Bulls] is made to be broken.''

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