These Brumbies are a different, more unpredictable side than previously and that is why they will provide the Vodacom Stormers with a tough challenge.
That was the opinion of Stormers coach Rassie Erasmus before the teams clash in a crucial Super 14 match at Newlands on Saturday.
“This is a totally different Brumbies team. They have a few players in the side who have never played at Newlands before,” commented the coach.
“Last year it was Larkham, Gregan, Mortlock and those boys coming out here, so it’s a different team. They don’t play the same Brumbies style of rugby.
“If they dish that up I think we will be able to handle it, but they are very unpredictable. They were more predictable in previous years, so it’s going to be a tough challenge.
“Typically with a few youngsters in their team they take changes. With the type of flyhalf they have and a new young wing and George Smith’s brother at centre and young loose-forwards they actually are a young team.
“They are explosive and take chances. They are not thinking about the risks involved, which is good for them. I’m not making that a negative side of them – it’s actually very tough to prepare to play against a team like that.”
Veteran backline player Wylie Human makes his debut at wing for the Stormers on Saturday. And his former team-mate, Erasmus, believes Human’s experience and the stability he brings would benefit the team in this specific game.
“This is the most experienced combination we could have picked. Wylie is an experienced campaigner, one of the most experienced backline players on the field.
“He is a very good kicker, which I think will also be a big part of the game on Saturday. He has a lot of experience and does his basics well. He is no Tondi (Chavhanga), but he can finish too.”
The coach said the Brumbies are a difficult team with a good coach. “They are starting to peak at the right time in the tournament.
“They are a good side with good players and it will be a difficult match.”
Teams for Newlands:
Vodacom Stormers: 15 Conrad Jantjes, 14 Wylie Human, 13 Gcobani Bobo, 12 Jean de Villiers (captain), 11 Sireli Naqelevuki, 10 Peter Grant, 9 Ricky January, 8 Robbie Diack, 7 Francois Louw, 6 Luke Watson, 5 Andries Bekker, 4 Adriaan Fondse, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Schalk Brits, 1 Brian Mujati.
Replacements: 16 Deon Fourie, 17 Schalk Ferreira, 18 Ross Skeate, 19 Pieter Myburgh, 20 Bolla Conradie, 21 Tony Brown, 22 Dylan des Fountain.
Brumbies: 15 Mark Gerrard, 14 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 13 Stirling Mortlock (captain),12 Tyrone Smith, 11 Francis Fainifo, 10 Christian Lealiifano, 9 Patrick Phibbs, 8 Julian Salvi, 7 George Smith, 6 Stephen Hoiles, 5 Mark Chisholm, 4 Alister Campbell, 3 Salesi Ma’afu, 2 Saia Faingaa, 1 Nic Henderson.
Replacements: 16 John Ulugia, 17 Guy Shepherdson, 18 Peter Kimlin, 19 Ben Alexander, 20 Mitchell Chapman, 21 Josh Holmes, 22 Afusipa Taumoepeau. Kick-off: 17:00. Referee: Steve Walsh (New Zealand).