David Polkinghorne July 04, 2012
ACT player Nic White during training at Brumbies HQ, Griffith. Photo: Melissa Adams
Rather than deflect talk about finals, ACT Brumbies scrumhalf Nic White embraces it.
Ever since he started playing rugby union he's dreamed about playing finals and Super Rugby is no different.
With two games left before a possible play-offs berth, White could be excused for focusing solely on playing arch-rivals NSW Waratahs in Sydney on Saturday. But he might not find himself with the same chance again so he wants to make the most of it.
The Brumbies need to beat the Waratahs, as well as the Auckland Blues in their final game, for a guaranteed spot in the finals.
White is excited about the prospect of ending the Brumbies' eight-year play-offs drought.
''I like to think about finals footy, that's what's driving me,'' he said.
''I didn't start the season to just be happy with going out there and playing Super Rugby, it was always the goal to make finals and to stand there singing the song after we've won the championship.
''I like to think about that and dream about it.
''It's exciting and it's hard to control that excitement but I guess I'm just pretty excitable.''
It's an exciting time for White, who's just finished his first Wallabies camp as Will Genia's understudy.
And it's not just Australia coach Robbie Deans who's noticed him.
Wallabies and Western Force captain David Pocock said White's speed at the breakdown was ''second to none'' after the Brumbies beat the Force in Perth on Saturday.
White said it was his job to ensure the team got quick ball, giving the Brumbies' attack the best chance of scoring.
He'll try to do the same against the Waratahs as the Brumbies look to win in Sydney for just the second time in Super Rugby history.
''It's something I try to work on, it's something I try to do, so for someone like [Pocock] to recognise that is nice,'' White said.
''… [Coach Jake White] says it's my job to get in there and get the ball out as quickly as possible, that's every scrumhalf's job in every province.''
White and fullback Robbie Coleman were integral cogs in the Brumbies' stunning first-half blitz against the Force at nib Stadium, before the Force clawed its way back into the game in the second half.
Both White and Coleman know they need to produce similar rugby for the full 80 minutes against the Waratahs this weekend.
''You've got to play both the halves. We put in a really strong performance in the first half [against the Force] and we probably slackened off a bit in the second but we've got to make sure that doesn't happen again,'' Coleman said.
He was hoping to make the No.15 jersey his own after an injury interrupted season. Coleman has been hindered by shoulder, groin and sternum problems this year, but hopes that's all behind him.
The Queanbeyan product could come up against his old mentor Adam Ashley-Cooper in a battle of the fullbacks.
Coleman said he'd learnt a lot from Ashley-Cooper, who defected from the Brumbies to the Waratahs at the end of last season.
''I think I partnered [Ashley-Cooper] in the centres for the early rounds [last year] and he's the ultimate professional,'' he said
''There's not many mistakes in his game so he's going to be tough, but I think they've got a lot of that in their back line.''
Super Rugby round 17: NSW Waratahs v ACT Brumbies at ANZ Stadium, 7.40pm.
TV time: Live on Fox Sports 3