Larkham’s mumblings inspired Brumbies rookies

Stephen Larkham might not have played on Saturday against the Reds but he still played a big part in the match. The Brumbies who were struggling to fill the team-sheet on saturday asked Larkham to do a prematch pep-talk for the young Brumbies.

His message was said to have been a bit mumbled but it certainly had the effect needed.

Brumbies second-rower Mark Chisholm explained to Rugbyheaven,: “I don’t want to give Bernie [Larkham] too much credit for his words. He mumbles a lot. But he said, ‘If one man goes down, there are still 21 who can influence the result.”‘

His words were put to the test only minutes into the match. Shortly after kick-off, Brumbies fullback Julian Huxley was knocked out while tackling Reds second-rower James Horwill.

It would have been hard to imagine the sight of one of their team-mates convulsing on the ground as he received attention not having an effect on the young Brumbies but instead it pulled them together and Chisholm said that it pulled them together.

“When Julian (Huxley) went down, I think it almost settled us in a way and we all responded well to it,” the big lock said.

In the end, the Brumbies produced the best performance by an Australian team this season, and showed that despite their lack of big names they could still go far in 2008.

Reds captain John Roe was in a state of shock after the thrashing: “I don’t know what it is about this ground, but for some reason when we’re here, we decide we can’t tackle and can’t play,” he said.

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