KSA Shark ©

2009 S14 Preview – Brumbies

Written by Andre Bosch (KSA Shark ©)

Posted in :In the news, Super 14 on 26 Jan 2009 at 12:00
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The Brumbies have experienced a four-year Super Rugby semifinal drought, which must be frustrating for a team that possesses so much talent, skill and patience.

However, they have committed themselves to playing an expansive brand of running rugby in the Super 14 in 2009.

Despite finishing fifth on the team try-scoring list in 2008 with 36 tries – behind the Crusaders (49 tries), Chiefs (44), Blues (41) and Hurricanes (40) – the Brumbies will be looking to improve on their attacking record in 2009.

They have a great reputation for playing an attractive, spectator-friendly style of rugby and it seems as if the coaching staff will be re-enforcing this in 2009.

The Brumbies still find themselves in a rebuilding phase and it is unlikely that they will win the tournament. However, they will definitely be competitive and should get close to securing a semi final berth.

While the Brumbies’ experienced duo of Stephen Larkahm and George Gregan have left a major gap in the decision-making department, youngsters such as Christian Lealiifano and Matt Toomua  have a season of Super 14 rugby under their belts and will play with increased confidence as a result in 2009.

Strengths: The Brumbies’ ability to hold onto possession has always been their major trump card. They have now propagated an expansive approach in 2009 and in combination with the good discipline an ability to keep the ball alive will see them delivering some enterprising play in the competition.

Weakness: There is still a perception that the Brumbies lack experience and may rely too heavily on the likes of George Smith and Stirling Mortlock.

Noteworthy signings: Ben Hand (Waratahs), Shawn Mackay (Sevens), Alfi Mafi (Waratahs), Stephen Moore (Reds),  James Stannard (Force), Sitaleki Timani (Force),

Noteworthy losses: Julian Huxley (retirement), Richard Stanford (Western Force)

Coach: Former ACT Brumbies fullback Andy Friend succeeds Laurie Fisher after a disappointing reign. While the Brumbies are the only Aussie side to have won a Super Rugby title. Friend will be hoping to restore Brumbies’ pride after they have fallen from their earlier glory days.

Captain: Friend believes the captaincy will bring out the best in Stephen Hoiles and ease the load on Wallabies skipper Stirling Mortlock.Mortlock missed the early part of the 2008 season which  really hampered their efforts with Wallaby fetcher George Smith then taking on the responsibility of leading the team for the first part of the tournament. The trio has more than enough experience to guide the Brumbies on their way back to being one of the competition’s frontrunners.

Player(s) to watch: Among the loose forwards Julian Silva has been touted as a potential Wallaby in 2009 and he will be keen to use the Super 14 to show his ability. While the Brumbies backline does not have the most intimidating look, youngsters such as Lealifano and Tyrone Smith do provide a surprise element ahead of this year’s tournament.

2008 Position: 9th
Best finish: Super 12 winners in 2004 and 2001
Worst finish: 10th 1998
Home Venue: Canberra Stadium, Canberra (capacity: 27,000)

2009 Prediction: The Brumbies are still by far the most threatening of the Australian teams on attack and showed last season that they are very competent on defence too. In fact they had a better defensive record than the top four teams in last year’s competition. Expect a top-six finish for the Brumbies at the very least and maybe qualification for the semi final.

Brumbies: Ben Alexander, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Peter Betham, Mitchell Chapman, Mark Chisholm, Huia Edmonds, Francis Fainifo, Gene Fairbanks, Mark Gerrard, Ben Hand, Nic Henderson, Stephen Hoiles, Joshua Holmes, Peter Kimlin, Christian Lealiifano, Salesi Ma’afu, Shawn Mackay, Alfi Mafi, Stephen Moore, Stirling Mortlock, Patrick Phibbs, Clyde Rathbone, Julian Salvi, Guy Shepherdson, George Smith, Tyrone Smith, James Stannard, Sitaleki Timani, Afusipa Taumoepeau, Matt Toomua, John Ulugia

Friday 13 February v Highlanders, away
Saturday 21 February v Crusaders, home  
Saturady 28 February v Force, home  
Friday 13 March v Waratahs, home 
Saturday 21 March v Lions Johannesburg, away  
Saturday 28 March v Sharks, away
Saturday 4 April v Cheetahs Bloemfontein, away 
Saturday 11 April v Stormers, home  
Friday 17 April v Bulls, home
Saturday 25 April v Hurricanes, away  
Saturday 2 May v Reds, away
Saturday 9 May v Blues, home  
Friday 15 May v Chiefs, away

Courtesy of Rugby365


  • I don’t believe these guys will make the Semi-finals. The team is to young and the older players are getting a bit fragile.

  • Comment 1, posted at 26.01.09 12:16:30 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • Yep- I think they’ll be up against it…

  • Comment 2, posted at 26.01.09 12:23:29 by blckshrk - PROTEAS Reply
    blackshark - I'm back!
  • Looking at their losses (not mnay) these guys may actually improve on last year’s showing.

    maybe not the semi’s but certainly fighting for it come round 13 and 14.

  • Comment 3, posted at 26.01.09 13:29:09 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • Very small venue…

  • Comment 4, posted at 26.01.09 18:14:18 by Hmmm Reply
  • Who has that big staduim…the Tahs or teh Reds…

  • Comment 5, posted at 26.01.09 18:14:44 by Hmmm Reply
  • The Brumibies are not the Brumbies of old…
    I think they will end outside the top half…
    But if they able to win all games against the Aussies sides they can finish in top half…
    But doubt a semi finish…

  • Comment 6, posted at 26.01.09 18:16:38 by Hmmm Reply

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