Sydney - The new generation Brumbies have consistently broken records this
year and they insist the scars of the past will not prevent them from
breaking their Sydney hoodoo on Saturday.
Just 12 months after being embarrassed by the Waratahs at ANZ Stadium, the Brumbies are poised to end a painful
16-year stretch in Sydney.
The Brumbies have beaten the Waratahs at home just once -
but with Jake White's men closing in on the finals, it could be the
Brumbies' turn to inflict pain.
The rejuvenated team have unexpectedly started restoring
pride this year. They became the first Brumbies team to win in
Wellington in nine years, had the club's most successful two-game tour
of South Africa and have more than doubled the amount of wins they
secured last year.
With just five survivors from the starting XV that was
demolished 41-7 at ANZ Stadium last year, attack coach Stephen Larkham
said the new side had no fear of playing in Sydney. ''We went up there
with big expectations last year, we didn't want to lay down even though
our season was over,'' he said.
''The Waratahs are a different side at home, they're hard
to beat. We generally win at home and they would win up there when I
was playing … this year it's different with where we're sitting. We
can make what we want of this season and the way we're playing and the
headspace we're in, there's a lot of confidence there, our game is at a
far higher standard than what it was last year.''
The Waratahs have lost their past six games and haven't played since losing to the Hurricanes on June 2.
Stephen Moore, Ben Alexander, Peter Kimlin, Pat McCabe
and Andrew Smith are the only survivors from the Brumbies' starting side
that succumbed to a Waratahs onslaught in June last year and the memory
of ending the team's worst season on a sour note still lingers.
But outside-centre Smith said new faces brought new
enthusiasm and a confidence that the Brumbies could topple the Waratahs
''It was tough last year, the boys weren't really up for it and the Waratahs saw that,'' he said.
''That's the message this week, we have to be ready to go and we have to be on.''