Mar 032017

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The Brumbies will be hungry for their first scalp of the competition when they host the touring Sharks in Canberra on Saturday.

Both sides sit at third place in their respective conferences after both collected a losing bonus point in their Round One game.

The Sharks are three points behind the Jaguares and the Lions who both won without a bonus point last weekend while the Brumbies are behind the Waratahs and the Reds who also have four points each. Whoever claims victory in the clash can jump to the top of the table depending on other results.

History favours the Canberra side in this fixture as they have won six of their last nine games against the Sharks, including each of their last two in 2013 and 2014. And most of those victories have come at home for the Brumbies as they have won eight of their last nine games when hosting the Sharks.

The Durbanites have usually remained competitive though as each of their last six fixtures have been decided by seven points or fewer making it a close game each time.

Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham said he was disappointed by the loss last weekend but says they will be better against the Sharks.

“We looked at the game from last week and we thought the energy and attitude was spot on, it was probably just a bit of cohesion that cost us points in the game,” Larkham told the Canberra Times.

“We certainly appreciated the effort so we gave these guys another chance to find combinations.

“We wanted to reward them with another opportunity to find that cohesion but looking down the track we’ll look at getting good rotation in the squad.”

Sharks coach Robert du Preez hopes that his side will have the ball a bit more and focus more on their discipline.

“We didn’t play well at all, it was a very disappointing result and we just couldn’t get going at all. We didn’t have a lot of possession and you need a fair share of possession if you’re going to win,” Du Preez told the Citizen.

“The first problem was our discipline, we gave away 11 penalties . So discipline is a focus this week. And territory goes hand-in-hand with possession and our exits weren’t great.

“And we also couldn’t fit phases together because of individual errors. We need to be able to execute three phases after the set-piece, because then you’re in the mix and you can play rugby.”

Players List:

Brumbies: 15 Aidan Toua, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Kyle Godwin, 11 James Dargaville, 10 Wharenui Hawera, 9 Joe Powell, 8 Jordan Smiler, 7 Chris Alcock, 6 Scott Fardy, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Josh Mann-Rea, 1 Nic Mayhew

Replacements: 16 Robbie Abel, 17 Ben Alexander, 18 Leslie Leulua’iali’i-Makin, 19 Tom Staniforth, 20 Lolo Fakaosilea, 21 De Wet Roos, 22 Andrew Smith, 23 Isaac Thompson

Sharks: 15 Clément Poitrenaud, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Patrick Lambie (c), 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Tera Mtembu, 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Philip van der Walt, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Stephan Lewies, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Franco Marais, 1 Tendai Mtawarira

Replacements: 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17 Thomas du Toit, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Jean Droste, 20 Jacques Vermeulen, 21 Michael Claassens, 22 Jeremy Ward, 23 Curwin Bosch

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