White expects physical battle
Sydney - Brumbies coach Jake White is expecting the habitually expansive
Hurricanes to take on his side upfront following news the
Wellington-based team bolstered their tight five for their Super Rugby
According to the stuff.co.nz website
, first choice Hurricanes hooker Dane Coles will return from a
fractured cheekbone and the 122kg, 201cm-tall lock James Broadhurst has
replaced Jason Eaton for Friday's game at Canberra Stadium.
''That means they've obviously loaded their tight five and that
obviously sends a sign that they might want to take us upfront,'' White
White said after watching last year's game between the two sides he
discovered that instead of finding success through their usual expansive
style, the Hurricanes scored two tries following rolling mauls and one
off the back of a five-metre scrum.
''They got a return on the maul and pick and drive game in the
A-zone and will bring up a couple of those big guys to try and do that
this year again,'' White said.
''I'm assuming that they see a weakness there.
''By their selections it looks to me that's an area where they think they can have a crack at us.''
However, White said he intended to go into the game with a settled line-up and no surprises of his own.
''We're getting to the point now where we need to start getting
combinations that we've tried and tested. Combinations that are
working,'' he said.
That would imply that breakout loosehead prop Scott Sio will stay in the run-on side for the third week running.
''Slowly, slowly he's chipped away and all of a sudden he's in the
starting line-up and no one looks at his name and thinks there's a
weakness there,'' White said.
Sio, who had previously been included in a provisional Wallabies
camp in April, said he was still hoping to nab one of the final six
Wallabies squad spots to be announced by coach Robbie Deans on June 11
after missing the 25-man cut.
''(I was) disappointed but you can't hang on that. You've got another job at hand with the Brumbies,'' he said.
Despite the front row being one of the toughest positions to play
against the British and Irish Lions, the 21-year-old said he had no
doubts he'd be up to the challenge.
''If you get called in there's no time to think whether you're ready or not,'' Sio said.