Chris Dutton April 08, 2012
THE ACT Brumbies are refusing to use stage fright as an excuse for their performance against the Queensland Reds despite coach Jake White admitting his players were ''in awe'' at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.
The young Brumbies fumbled their way to a 20-13 loss against the defending champion Reds on Friday night.
It was the first time in 2012 White's team lacked composure with the ball and conceded a massive 27 turnovers during the tight defeat.
For most of the Brumbies it was the first time they had played in front of more than 15,000 people.
''It was quite amazing how we learn about each other,'' White said.
''[At the captain's run] Sam Carter walked out and said he was blown away by the stadium, blown away by the fact there was 30,000 people there.
''It's not all doom and gloom … we've just got to make sure we develop and get better.
''I don't know if it was stage fright, it's just something you can't practise.''
The Brumbies are desperate to avoid making a hat-trick of losses when they face the Melbourne Rebels at Canberra Stadium on Saturday night.
Prop Dan Palmer was yesterday issued an off-field yellow card for his fight with Reds prop Ben Daley in the second half of the defeat.
Daley also got an off-field yellow card, but neither received any immediate punishment and will not miss any games.
Rookie lock Carter admitted he was nervous running out to take on the Super Rugby champion.
The 200centimetre 22-year-old performed well in his battle with Wallabies skipper James Horwill and hoped that being exposed to the hostile Queensland crowd would help him to develop.
''Hopefully we can grow as a team and learn from this,'' Carter said.
''We always knew it was going to be tough, but you can't put it down to being spooked up here. We just didn't take our opportunities.''
They could be boosted by Robbie Coleman's return next week.