Josh Rakic June 30, 2012
The ACT Brumbies are bracing themselves to face an expected Western Force ambush during Nathan Sharpe's final match in Perth tonight.
Veteran lock Sharpe will retire at season's end and with the Force heading to New Zealand for its final two matches, tonight marks the last home game for the club's inaugural skipper.
Brumbies hooker Stephen Moore said that made it an unpredictable match for the visitors, who must win to stay ahead of the Queensland Reds at the top of the Australian conference.
The 13th-placed Force has already accounted for the Reds and the NSW Waratahs this year and is desperate to send Sharpe out a winner.
''There's a lot of emotion around the game from their point of view with Sharpey, and you'd imagine that will lift their boys a little bit,'' Moore said.
''But we've got a hell of a lot to play for and that's how we're approaching it.
''We've shocked a lot of people this year and we can't rest on our laurels.
''We've got a game against a very unpredictable side with nothing to lose.
''These local games are traditionally really close … they gave the Reds a real touch-up over here not too long ago so we know they're capable of playing really well.''
With tough matches to come against the Waratahs and Auckland Blues, the Brumbies can ill afford to become complacent against Australia's lowest-ranked team.
''We've got to be aware of that sort of emotion that's coming into the game, but stay focused on our detail,'' Brumbies skipper Ben Mowen said.
''They're a difficult team to play because of the pressure they apply at the breakdown, so we won't be taking them lightly.''