Brumbies win is a ‘non negotiable’: Fisher

Brumbies coach Laurie Fisher says that victory against the struggling Cheetahs in Canberra is a “non negotiable” as his team try to revive their Super 14 campaign.

The Brumbies have lost two matches in a row going down to the Waratahs and the Hurricanes leaving them ninth of the table with only two wins from five matches.

This week the Canberra based Brumbies face the Cheetahs who are without a win having lost all five of their games so far.

They have lost all ten of their matches in Australasia over the past three seasons, but have recalled several of their leading players, who were rested for last week’s match with the Crusaders.

“A win is probably non negotiable for us heading into the bye, we’ve trained well this week, we believe we’ve got the side to do it,” Fisher told AAP.

“When they (the Cheetahs) sat down before the tour, they would have seen this as a winnable game compared to the Crusaders game, so they will be here with their best 22.

“I don’t think they’ve won away from South Africa since they’ve re-entered the competition, so it’s an enormous challenge for them, but I’m sure looking at our side and our level of inexperience, that they would see this as a real opportunity.

“We’ve got to play at pace, we’ve got to play physically, but execute well.”

The Brumbies have been boosted by the return of two of their Wallabies in Test forwards, lock Al Campbell and prop Guy Shepherdson, both of whom will come off the bench.

While the Brumbies have struggled with injuries this year, their performances have been patchy.

Fisher named a Brumbies team with three changes to his starting line up with Peter Kimlin earning a run-on debut, while half-back Josh Holmes and hooker Huia Edmonds have been recalled to the first XV.

The Brumbies have been comprehensively beaten at the breakdown in their last two matches and captain George Smith acknowledge their team had to improve in that vital department.

“A lot of our breakdown woes probably came from our ball carriers,” Fisher said.

“If we can get a little bit more from our ball carriers, a little bit more leg drive, a little bit better shoulders forward, you get a better target to clean out over.”

Smith will become the fifth Brumby to play 100 games and he says that he is wary of the Cheetahs ball runners.

“The Cheetahs are a good attacking team, they have good strong runners and they are a big side,” Smith said.

“They haven’t won any games this season, but they’ve definitely tried their guts out. They are a very aggressive team.”

The champion flanker down played his own milestone, but was confident his team mates would mark the occasion with an appropriate performance.

“I’m very proud that I’ve been consistent enough to reach 100 at this stage, I’m very happy I’ve made that,” Smith said.

“But it will mean nothing, if I don’t put in on the weekend and help the team.

“I’m sure my team mates will do all they can to make it a special night for myself.”   


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