Season starts here: rested Brumbies urged to push on

The in-form ACT Brumbies have returned from their bye week raring to go and more mentally switched on than they’ve been all year, Stephen Larkham says.

But the coach insisted his third-placed side must not rest on their laurels as the business-end of the season draws closer. 

Far from interrupting the momentum generated by a five-game winning streak, Larkham said the extra break came at the perfect time before the Brumbies embark on the most difficult fortnight of their campaign.

They fly to Auckland to take on the Blues at Eden Park on Saturday, before returning to the capital to host the Super Rugby Pacific table-topping Hurricanes.

Larkham, whose side were stung by a 46-12 thrashing at the hands of the Chiefs in round two before finding their winning ways, said the mental application during the week had stood out.

ACT Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham.
The in-form Brumbies must keep on looking up, coach Stephen Larkham says.

“We had a few niggly bodies and we pushed some guys out through seven games in a row, and including pre-season some guys went nine games in a row,” he said.

“They needed the break, and came back nice and fresh.

“The boys are very focused from what I've seen this week. 

"I compare it to the Chiefs week, where we had a similar scenario - a couple of days off over the weekend on the back of a Friday game, and we came in a bit sloppy.

“It's chalk and cheese (this time).”

Already boasting such depth that four Wallabies-capped talents are coming off the bench, further boosts are on the way for the Brumbies.

Larkham confirmed on Thursday “pretty much everyone” will be back in action next weekend, with captain Allan Alaalatoa, centre Len Ikitau and winger Andy Muirhead all pushing to prove their fitness.

But the coach was quick to tell his high-flying side their 6-1 record meant little, suggesting a favourable draw had helped carry the Brumbies to third on the table.

“We were relatively lucky in terms of our draw, we came up against some teams that were potentially not hitting their straps,” he said.

“We've seen a lot of those teams that we played against improve since we played them." 

Reflecting on his side's last-up 40-16 win over the NSW Waratahs, Larkham said there was plenty “we weren't happy with".

“We've outlined that to the players this week," he said. 

"They're under no illusions - what we did in the first seven rounds really doesn't count for anything.”

License this article

What is AAPNews?

For the first time, Australian Associated Press is delivering news straight to the consumer.

No ads. No spin. News straight-up.

Not only do you get to enjoy high-quality news delivered straight to your desktop or device, you do so in the knowledge you are supporting media diversity in Australia.

AAP Is Australia’s only independent newswire service, free from political and commercial influence, producing fact-based public interest journalism across a range of topics including politics, courts, sport, finance and entertainment.

What is AAPNews?
The Morning Wire

Wake up to AAPNews’ morning news bulletin delivered straight to your inbox or mobile device, bringing you up to speed with all that has happened overnight at home and abroad, as well as setting you up what the day has in store.

AAPNews Morning Wire
AAPNews Breaking News
Breaking News

Be the first to know when major breaking news happens.

Notifications will be sent to your device whenever a big story breaks, ensuring you are never in the dark when the talking points happen.

Focused Content

Enjoy the best of AAP’s specialised Topics in Focus. AAP has reporters dedicated to bringing you hard news and feature content across a range of specialised topics including Environment, Agriculture, Future Economies, Arts and Refugee Issues.

AAPNews Focussed Content
Subscription Plans

Choose the plan that best fits your needs. AAPNews offers two basic subscriptions, all billed monthly.

Once you sign up, you will have seven days to test out the service before being billed.

AAPNews Full Access Plan
Full Access
  • Enjoy all that AAPNews has to offer
  • Access to breaking news notifications and bulletins
  • Includes access to all AAPNews’ specialised topics
Join Now
AAPNews Student Access Plan
Student Access
  • Gain access via a verified student email account
  • Enjoy all the benefits of the ‘Full Access’ plan at a reduced rate
  • Subscription renews each month
Join Now
AAPNews Annual Access Plan
Annual Access
  • All the benefits of the 'Full Access' subscription at a discounted rate
  • Subscription automatically renews after 12 months
Join Now

AAPNews also offers enterprise deals for businesses so you can provide an AAPNews account for your team, organisation or customers. Click here to contact AAP to sign-up your business today.

Download the app
Download AAPNews on the App StoreDownload AAPNews on the Google Play Store