Brumbies backrow enjoy 'bullies' reputation
February 19, 2013
Brumbies overpower disjointed Reds in Canberra
Fotu Auelua and Peter Kimlin are gearing up for another bruising Super Rugby derby, against Melbourne Rebels, after the Brumbies' backrow enforcers successfully "bullied" Queensland Reds at the breakdown in round one.
Backrowers David Pocock, Ben Mowen, Kimlin and impact replacement Auelua were instrumental in the Brumbies' 24-6 win over the Reds at Canberra Stadium on Saturday, the quartet physically dominating the younger and smaller Queensland backrow at the breakdown, constantly slowing down the ball and keeping the Reds' phases to a minimum.
"The talk of the week was to really bully them around that area," Auelua said. "I think we succeeded in that."
The encounter also involved a few on-field scuffles, but Auelua played down talk that the heated exchanges were a tactic to ruffle their opponents' feathers.
"I don't know if it was a tactic," he said. "Peter Kimlin just doesn't like getting his hair pulled."
The Brumbies had a significant size advantage against the Reds, with an average backrow weight of 111kg compared with the Reds' 104kg. But they'll have a tougher time outmuscling the Rebels backrow of Gareth Delve, Scott Higginbotham, Scott Fuglistaller and Jarrod Saffy, who average 108kg.
"Obviously with the signing of Scott Higginbotham as well, it's going to be another challenge," Kimlin said. "They've also had an older and wiser type of group that's gone through their system."
Kimlin and Auelua each praised the "awesome" work of Pocock at the breakdown, saying he gave the Brumbies an element of confidence they would take into the match against the Rebels.
"You don't really see what he's doing on the field until you revisit the game," Auelua said. "Just to know you've got a player beside you like Pocock gives you a boost and a lot of confidence that he'll do his job and do it well."
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