Jake White's experience key for Brumbies
July 31, 2013
Brumbies coach Jake White is urging his players to approach the decider like a Rugby World Cup final © Getty Images
Jake White will impart all of his World Cup winning experience on the Brumbies in order to complete the club's fairytale transformation in Saturday's Super Rugby final against the Chiefs.
White, who orchestrated South Africa's 2007 Rugby World Cup triumph, has turned the Brumbies from cellar dwellers to Super Rugby finalists in just two seasons at the helm. He admits he thought it would take longer to restore the franchise to its former glory but urged his players to seize their opportunity this weekend and to approach the game like a World Cup final.
"I don't think you do anything differently (preparing for a World Cup final or a Super Rugby decider) and one of the things we met about this morning is that's probably where I can help them the most because I've been there," White said. "Look at today, they go for a swimming recovery session at a schoolboy pool and there's more journos and media than there are in any other code I've ever been involved in."
"I felt like I was back in South Africa in terms of how important this game is in rugby union, and I said to them, 'just enjoy it boys but at the same time just be appreciative of the fact that I can help you through this," White added. "Those things are probably nice to have but they mustn't become distractions ... the thing that's going to make us win on Saturday is if we do the things right, not worry about all the other things. It's fantastic to have (the attention) and it's wonderful for the club, but the lessons I've learnt of playing in high-profile games is just do your first job and that's to play rugby."
White says his players have recovered well following their dramatic 26-23 semi-final victory over the Bulls and the subsequent flight home from South Africa.
"I just can't compliment (the players) enough, straight after the game (they took) sleepers (sleeping tablets), had a meal and then straight to bed," White said. "They knew straight away they had to get into Aussie time, so the proof is that they get here and they're fresh. It's one more week to go and as I said this week is not so much about how much extra we do, it's about how little we do in terms of understanding we've got to be fresh."
Asked what challenges defending champions the Chiefs will pose in Hamilton, White said perfecting the Brumbies game is his sole focus this week.
"(Assistant coaches) Laurie (Fisher) and Bernie (Stephen Larkham) spent hours looking for things, for trends, and they're obviously two really astute students of the game," White said. "And I'm sure they would have looked at things and understood but I suppose the message that I would give to the players and to the coaching staff is we don't need to move anything away from what's worked for us."
"It's nothing to be embarrassed about, we've got a brand that works for us as a group. We're two years into our campaign, we get success, we have belief," White added. "There's no use now trying to reinvent the wheel, we've just got to do the things that we do really well, well under pressure situations."
Follow live text commentary of the Super Rugby Final between the Chiefs and the Brumbies on Saturday, August 3, from 7pm (NZT), 5pm (EST), 7am (GMT)
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