Planet Rugby

Preview: Brumbies v Force

26th April 2013 08:18

Share:

Alfie Mafi

Nothing to lose: The Force

The Brumbies will look to cement their place atop the Super Rugby standings when they host the Western Force in Saturday's all-Aussie derby at Canberra Stadium.

The tournament leaders are on 35 points - nineteen clear of the 13th-placed Force - and start this clash as favourites, though the men from the west have already caused an upset or two this season.

Indeed, another shock Force victory could see the Brumbies lose their pole position and fall behind the Reds if they get the better of the Blues on Saturday.

It's for this reason that Jake White's troops will be extremely wary of a Force side that, besides only winning two games so far this year, have been competitive in most rounds.

They have beaten the Crusaders as well as the Reds and ran the Hurricanes close last week, so White and co. would have certainly done their homework on them.

"They are very enthusiastic and have a very enthusiastic forward pack who run the ball really well," said Brumbies assistant coach Stephen Larkham.

"They have dangerous players like Sam Norton-Knight who is adding a new dimension to their attack.

"Also Alfie Mafi and Jayden Haywood are very dangerous, so they have quite a dangerous back three.

"They are quite unpredictable in what they throw at you, so defence will be a big area for us to focus on this week."

Defence was the hallmark of this Brumbies performance in last Saturday's pulsating draw against the Reds at Suncorp Stadium, so Larkham shouldn't have too many sleepless nights.

In team news, the Brumbies have made just one change and bring in prop Scott Sio, while the Force have been bolstered by the return of Kyle Godwin, Salesi Ma'afu and Ben McCalman.

Prediction: The Force have nothing to lose and will throw everything at the competition leaders. But the Brumbies showed last week they can withstand anything... Brumbies by 8!

The teams:

Brumbies: 15 Jesse Mogg, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Christian Lealiifano, 11 Joe Tomane, 10 Matt Toomua, 9 Nic White, 8 Ben Mowen (c), 7 George Smith, 6 Fotu Auelua, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Peter Kimlin, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Scott Sio.
Replacements: 16 Siliva Siliva, 17 Ruaidhri Murphy, 18 Leon Power, 19 Colby Faingaa, 20 Ian Prior, 21 Pat McCabe, 22 Robbie Coleman.

Western Force: 15 Jayden Hayward, 14 Patrick Dellit, 13 Junior Rasolea, 12 Kyle Godwin, 11 Ed Stubbs, 10 Sam Norton-Knight, 9 Alby Mathewson, 8 Richard Brown, 7 Matt Hodgson (c), 6 Ben McCalman, 5 Sam Wykes, 4 Toby Lynn, 3 Salesi Ma'afu, 2 Heath Tessmann, 1 Pek Cowan.
Replacements: 16 James Hilterbrand, 17 Kieran Longbottom, 18 Rory Walton, 19 Chris Alcock, 20 Mick Snowden, 21 Sias Ebersohn, 22 Winston Stanley.

Date: Saturday, April 27
Venue: Canberra Stadium
Kick-off: 19:40 (09:40 GMT)
Referee: Angus Gardner (Australia)
Assistant referees: Andrew Lees (Australia), Matt O'Brien (Australia)
Television match official: Matt Goddard (Australia)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 28
Bath vs Harlequins19:45
Saturday , November 29
Leicester Tigers vs Wasps15:00
Exeter vs Saracens16:30
Sunday , November 30
London Irish vs Gloucester13:00
London Welsh vs Northampton14:30
Newcastle Falcons vs Sale Sharks15:15
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
International Match
Saturday , November 29
Wales vs South Africa14:30
England vs Australia14:30
More International Match fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , November 28
Munster vs Ulster19:35
Cardiff Blues vs Treviso19:35
Saturday , November 29
Zebre vs Edinburgh15:00
Leinster vs Ospreys17:15
Connacht vs Scarlets19:30
Sunday , November 30
Glasgow Warriors vs Dragons16:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , November 29
Toulon vs Clermont Auvergne14:45
Oyonnax vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
Lyon vs Montpellier18:30
La Rochelle vs Bayonne18:30
Castres vs Racing Metro Paris18:30
Toulouse vs Grenoble20:45
Sunday , November 30
Stade Francais vs Brive18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 23
Saracens 24 - 31 NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Report
London Welsh 5 - 26 Leicester TigersLondon Welsh vs Leicester Tigers Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Georgia 35 - 24 JapanGeorgia vs Japan Report
More International Match results
Guinness PRO12
Treviso 24 - 24 LeinsterTreviso vs Leinster Report
Edinburgh 28 - 13 Cardiff BluesEdinburgh vs Cardiff Blues Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 22
London Irish 23 - 33 BathLondon Irish vs Bath Report
Exeter 31 - 15 WaspsExeter vs Wasps Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Italy 6 - 22 South AfricaItaly vs South Africa Report
England 28 - 9 SamoaEngland vs Samoa Report
France 13 - 18 ArgentinaFrance vs Argentina Report
Wales 16 - 34 New ZealandWales vs New Zealand Report
Scotland 37 - 12 TongaScotland vs Tonga Report
Ireland 26 - 23 AustraliaIreland vs Australia Report
Romania 18 - 9 CanadaRomania vs Canada Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 21
Harlequins 12 - 16 Sale SharksHarlequins vs Sale Sharks Report
Newcastle Falcons 20 - 10 GloucesterNewcastle Falcons vs Gloucester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Fiji 20 - 14 USAFiji vs USA Report
More International Match results
Guinness PRO12
Dragons 12 - 38 MunsterDragons vs Munster Report
Ulster 25 - 16 OspreysUlster vs Ospreys Report
Connacht 43 - 3 ZebreConnacht vs Zebre Report
Scarlets 19 - 9 Glasgow WarriorsScarlets vs Glasgow Warriors Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 16
Leicester Tigers 21 - 21 SaracensLeicester Tigers vs Saracens Report
Wasps 71 - 7 London WelshWasps vs London Welsh Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Ireland 49 - 7 GeorgiaIreland vs Georgia Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 15
Sale Sharks 36 - 8 London IrishSale Sharks vs London Irish Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton830
2Exeter828
3Bath828
4Saracens825
5Leicester Tigers821