As soon as the whistle blew on the Brumbies Super W win over RugbyWA on Sunday evening (24 March), head coach Adam Butt hit the books with his mind fully focused on their playoff match in a weeks time.
The Brumbies, who won through to the Super W finals for the first time after a 17-12 win in their final regular season match, immediately turned their attention to upsetting the Queensland Reds and making their own Super W history.
The side will travel to Ballymore to play the second-placed Reds for a chance to meet the Waratahs in a grand final a week later, who have not been defeated since the competition started last year.
“As soon as the whistle blew, I delved back into the notes and onto the computer to prepare for Queensland,” Butt told Region Media. “The girls straight away fixed their focus to this weekend.
“It is never easy going to Perth on a quick turnaround and to beat WA away is no easy task so I’m really proud of the girls. They were disappointed in their second half which proves they are determined to succeed.”
Coming into the last regular season round tied on the same points, the final playoff spot was up for grabs in Perth and it was the Brumbies who claimed it with three tries to one win. But the side isn’t content with a third-place finish and are determined to prove they are no easy beats.
“I think the group has unpacked potential but it’s about getting to that level consistently,” he said. “We believe we have a chance to knock Queensland off.
“We feel like we have been written off without people judging us for our performances. I know the girls are really keen to show that they are a better side than people believe.”
Less than 12 hours after landing back in the nation’s capital, the team was straight back into training on Monday night (25 March) making sure they were ready to play Queensland who had a week off thanks to the bye.
Despite being held scoreless in their regular season games against NSW and Queensland and with a recent 12-0 loss to the Reds, Butt said there were several positives to take from the game.
“We can take the effort in our defence in our last game against Queensland,” he said. We know we can pressure Queensland into mistakes and that is how we can beat them.
“We need to make them get off their game, make them frustrated and try to capitalise on small lucky bounces of the ball.”
Another stellar performance from Tayla Stanford will have Wallaroo selectors on the lookout for her performance against Queensland, as the number eight leads the competition in metres gained (367 metres), offloads (seven) and is second for defenders beaten (25).
But the Brumbies coach said he was in no way surprised by her talent.
“Around Canberra, you always hear about Tayla Stanford being a standout performer across the women’s game,” he said. “I remember reading an article when she scored 10 tries in a game and I was blown away by that.
“So I was keen to get the ball in her hands. She is really hungry and has such desire that she is coming along in leaps and bounds.”
Super W Playoff
Sunday 31 March 2019
Queensland vs Brumbies
Original Article published by Lachlan Roberts on The RiotACT.