Chris Dutton July 03, 2012
No fear ... Brumbies attack coach Stephen Larkham. Photo: Stuart Walmsley
THE new generation Brumbies have consistently broken records this year and they insist the scars of the past will not prevent them from breaking their Sydney hoodoo on Saturday night.
Just 12 months after being embarrassed by the NSW Waratahs at ANZ Stadium, the Brumbies are poised to end a painful 16-year stretch in Sydney.
The Brumbies have beaten the Waratahs at home just once - but with Jake White's men closing in on the finals, it could be the Brumbies' turn to inflict pain.
The rejuvenated team have unexpectedly started restoring pride this year. They became the first Brumbies team to win in Wellington in nine years, had the club's most successful two-game tour of South Africa and have more than doubled the amount of wins they secured last year.
With just five survivors from the starting XV that was demolished 41-7 at ANZ Stadium last year, attack coach Stephen Larkham said the new side had no fear of playing in Sydney. ''We went up there with big expectations last year, we didn't want to lay down even though our season was over,'' he said.
''The Waratahs are a different side at home, they're hard to beat. We generally win at home and they would win up there when I was playing … this year it's different with where we're sitting. We can make what we want of this season and the way we're playing and the headspace we're in, there's a lot of confidence there, our game is at a far higher standard than what it was last year.''
The Waratahs have lost their past six games and haven't played since losing to the Hurricanes on June 2.
Stephen Moore, Ben Alexander, Peter Kimlin, Pat McCabe and Andrew Smith are the only survivors from the Brumbies' starting side that succumbed to a Waratahs onslaught in June last year and the memory of ending the team's worst season on a sour note still lingers.
But outside-centre Smith said new faces brought new enthusiasm and a confidence that the Brumbies could topple the Waratahs at home.
''It was tough last year, the boys weren't really up for it and the Waratahs saw that,'' he said.
''That's the message this week, we have to be ready to go and we have to be on.''
Meanwhile, the Western Force have been dealt another huge blow with captain David Pocock in doubt for their last two Super Rugby games in New Zealand against the Blues and Crusaders.
The loss of the worlds best openside breakaway to a groin strain would be a disaster for the club who are already struggling to ensure they have a full squad for the tour.