The Brumbies have ramped up preparations for Friday’s Super Rugby clash with the Western Force after fatigue got the better of them last start.
Fullback Jesse Mogg was among those who cramped up during Friday’s 22-16 win over the Bulls at GIO Stadium – their first match following a bye and two-game tour of South Africa.
Mogg said the team had a light session on Sunday to help flush out their bodies ahead of a more intense week of training for their trip to Perth.
“Coming back to the cold in Canberra might’ve had an effect,” he said on Monday.
“There was a few boys who were cramping up, but we’ve made note of that and we’ll probably push ourselves a little bit harder this week during training so come Friday it doesn’t have an effect on us again.”
One notable absentee will be Wallabies lock Sam Carter, out for up to three months with a torn knee ligament suffered against the Bulls.
Carter will miss the remainder of the Super Rugby season and finals, if the Brumbies qualify, and also puts at risk his World Cup hopes.
Mogg says it’s a massive loss.
“Carts is sort of our guy that gets involved in breakdowns and tries to mess up a lot of ball. He also has a huge effect on the line-out as well,” he said.
“We’re definitely going to miss him, but at the same time I thought Jordan Smiler had another great game when he came on to replace him on the weekend.
“I’m not too sure which way the coach is going to go, but we’ve got quality players that are able to step up.”
While the Force are anchored at the bottom of the ladder with just two wins this season, Mogg said the Brumbies’ learnt two years ago they could ill afford to be complacent.
After demolishing them 41-7 earlier in the season, the Canberra-based franchise endured a last-round meltdown and lost 21-15 – killing the momentum ahead of their first finals appearance in nine years.
The Brumbies had the chance to rise to the top two, while the Force had won just three games – a situation not too dissimilar to the one they face in 2015.
“The Force, although they’re sitting poorly on the table, are still a fantastic team – hard at the breakdown and a good defensive team,” he said.
“So it’s going to be really tough for us, but we’re going to aim up this week and hopefully finish the regular season strong.
“Our intention is to go out there this Friday and really take our game to the next level.”