WIN! WIN! WIN!

Click and you could have your selfie appear on a Springbok player's Rugby World Cup jersey!

LIVE

    Jake White inspires Oz revival

    2013-08-01 10:37

    Sydney - When Jake White took over as head coach of the Brumbies in 2011, the once proud franchise was coming off its worst Super Rugby season and prospects of immediate improvement looked bleak.

    Four wins in 16 matches had left the twice champions a pitiful 13th in the 15-team competition and they limped to the season's end with a record-equalling 41-7 defeat at the hands of the Waratahs.

    Little more than two years on and the team from Australia's capital are just 80 minutes away from claiming the southern hemisphere's provincial crown for a third time.

    The odds may be stacked against them in Saturday's final against the Chiefs in Hamilton but even a heavy defeat would not detract from the impact the World Cup-winning former Springboks coach has had in Canberra.

    White, in his first head coaching job after leading South Africa to the 2007 World Cup, wasted no time in transforming the Brumbies off the pitch, as Wallabies prop Ben Alexander recalled this week.

    "After the 2011 Super Rugby season, I did not imagine the Brumbies playing in a final two years later," Alexander, one of the few survivors of that moribund campaign, told the Australian newspaper.

    "But when I came back to the Brumbies after the World Cup, I could see changes in the work ethic and culture.

    "I definitely knew then that during Jake White's tenure at the Brumbies, we would be more than capable of getting to the final and winning it."

    White's assistant coaches Laurie Fisher and Stephen Larkham provided a link to the Super Rugby successes of the late 1990s and early 2000s, when the Brumbies reached the final five times and won it in 2001 and 2004.

    The transformation on the pitch was not as immediate but there was a gradual improvement over the 2012 season and the Brumbies came within a whisker of returning to the playoffs for the first time in eight years.

    A home defeat to the Blues in the last match of the campaign put paid to that hope but the foundation had been laid and local pride was restored with home and away wins over the Waratahs.

    The Brumbies really hit their stride at the start of the 2013 season by winning their first four matches, including an away win over the Sharks in Durban.

    A 14-12 win by a weakened side over the British and Irish Lions - the first by an Australian provincial team over the tourists since 1971 - further boosted the team's credentials.

    Call it good luck or clever planning but White was even able to ride the loss of Wallabies openside flank David Pocock for the season with a knee injury by virtue of having 33-year-old George Smith on the bench.

    The former Wallabies captain was given permission by his Japanese club to remain for the rest of the season and has had a glorious year, including a man of the match display in last week's semi-final win over the Bulls in Pretoria.

    That win bolstered White's reputation for building teams that can do the unexpected but perhaps his greatest success in Canberra has been in identifying talent and developing players.

    Although White missed out on the Wallabies job when Robbie Deans resigned in the wake of the Lions series defeat, Australian rugby is still benefiting from his work.

    Only four Brumbies were included in the Australia party which departed for the 2011 World Cup. Last week, new Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie named 12 in his first squad.

    Read More On:  brumbies super 15 jake white rugby

    Read News24’s Comments Policy

    24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

    Comment on this story
    19 comments
    Add your comment
    Comment 0 characters remaining
    Live Video Streaming
    • Blitz
      Tue, 29 Jul 2014 @00:00
    • Blitz
      Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
    • SS1
      Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
    • SS2
      Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
    Video Highlights
    Sport Talk
    /Sport

    Results

    04 July 2015
    27 June 2015
    20 June 2015
    13 June 2015
    12 June 2015
    06 June 2015
    05 June 2015
    30 May 2015
    29 May 2015
    23 May 2015
    22 May 2015
    16 May 2015
    15 May 2015
    09 May 2015
    08 May 2015
    02 May 2015
    01 May 2015
    26 April 2015
    25 April 2015
    24 April 2015
    18 April 2015
    17 April 2015
    11 April 2015
    10 April 2015
    04 April 2015
    03 April 2015
    28 March 2015
    27 March 2015
    22 March 2015
    21 March 2015
    20 March 2015
    14 March 2015
    13 March 2015
    07 March 2015
    06 March 2015
    28 February 2015
    27 February 2015
    21 February 2015
    20 February 2015
    15 February 2015
    14 February 2015
    13 February 2015

    Logs

    Rank Team P W Pts

    EXPERT OPINION

    “Craig Joubert deserves plaudits for making a gutsy call against the home side in the Super Rugby semis, writes Herman Mostert.”

    Opinion Poll

    Super Rugby is a thing of the past. Next up: The Rugby Championship. Who will emerge victorious this season?

    Monday Quiz Madness!

    TAKE THE QUIZ
    There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.