The Brumbies have owned up to their breakdown transgressions and vow to make amends in Friday’s Super Rugby blockbuster against the NSW Waratahs.
With the battle of the breakdown, featuring Australia’s two premier No.7s David Pocock and Michael Hooper, sure to prove crucial at Canberra Stadium on Friday night, the Brumbies admit they had to learn a lesson.
Both Pocock and centre Matt Toomua were sin-binned for breakdown misdemeanours in the only blemishes on the Brumbies’ 42-point thrashing of 1015 grand finalists the Hurricanes last week.
Master ball pilferer Pocock, in particular, appeared bemused when pinged several times by referee Andrew Lees.
“At the time it was quite frustrating but we have had a look at the tape and to be fair Lees was pretty spot on with the calls, we didn’t release (the tackled player),” said Toomua on Wednesday.
The Brumbies have lost five of their last six games against the Waratahs but form in the opening round suggests they are well placed to reverse that trend.
Toomua believed it was important to also ensure they stayed on track in evolving their game plan, which includes a more adventurous attacking style.
“You want to take away the win, that goes without saying, but I think it’s a bit more important early on in the year that we try and nail down what we’re about,” he said.
With both sides littered with Wallabies, including playmaking rival Kurtley Beale, and national coach Michael Cheika likely watching, the importance of a good performance is not lost on Toomua.
The 26-year-old wants to add to his tally of 31 Tests before heading off to England.
“It’s a little bit of a motivation for sure,” he said.
“But we really need to put the team first in the sense that we’re doing our job within the structure, so that way you’re not just chipping and chasing for yourself the whole time so you shine.
“I’d be lying if I said I don’t know the guy who’s playing against me. Of course you know, and you want to pip them for that gold jersey later in the year.”
“It’s a balance.”
The Waratahs will start the same XV that beat the Queensland Reds 30-10 in their season-opener last Saturday night.