Jake White names unchanged team
July 25, 2013
Nic White impressed against the Cheetahs when he returned from a shoulder injury © Getty Images
Jake White has named an unchanged side as the Brumbies aim to upset the Bulls in the Super Rugby semi-finals at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria. The Brumbies face a tough task to get to the final, with the Bulls unbeaten at home in 2013 and having the benefit of a week's rest, but White is confident his side can win as they look to capture their first Super Rugby title since 2004.
"The Bulls present us with a huge challenge this weekend," White said. "We know they will play through their forwards and use Morne [Steyn] to finish with points. They have a good record here at Loftus and for our players to experience running on in front of a full house of more than 50,000 people will be fantastic. They are a typical South African side, very big and physical with some quality finishers out wide so it's up to our players to combat that with our own game."
The Brumbies won the home-and-away fixture between the two sides this season, when Christian Lealiifano kicked a penalty goal after the full-time siren to secure a 23-20 victory at Canberra Stadium. The Brumbies also outscored the Bulls five tries to two when they last played at Loftus Versfeld, in April 2012, but the Bulls won 36-34 as Steyn booted 23 points - including seven penalties - and the Australian team is under no illusion about the importance of discipline in Pretoria.
White's decision to stick with the team that edged the Cheetahs 15-13 in the Super Rugby qualifiers leaves Wallabies winger Joe Tomane on the bench, with Henry Speight and Clyde Rathbone starting on the flanks.
Brumbies: Jesse Mogg; Henry Speight, Tevita Kuridrani, Christian Lealiifano, Clyde Rathbone; Matt Toomua, Nic White; Ben Mowen (captain), George Smith, Peter Kimlin; Sam Carter, Scott Fardy; Ben Alexander, Stephen Moore, Scott Sio. Replacements: Siliva Siliva, Ruan Smith, Fotu Auelua, Colby Faingaa, Ian Prior, Andrew Smith, Joe Tomane.
Greg Growden and Russell Barwick preview the Super Rugby semi-finals
"Cheika's been phenomenal. He gives you an incredible level of mental strength." Tom Hamilton talks to Waratahs star Jacques Potgieter
While the Super Rugby season enters the all-important knockout phase, elsewhere pre-season training never looked so enjoyable. We round-up the best snaps in our Week in Pictures
"Our scrums and lineouts are sometimes not that good but our men are very brave." Ken Borland finds that rugby is on the rise in Senegal
Laurie Fisher talks about the Brumbies and Gloucester, and provides revealing thoughts on the player involvement during the glory days in Canberra