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Larkham: Brumbies need a big step up for Chiefs

Assistant coach Stephen Larkham says they will change their game for the Chiefs

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Article Published: Friday 2 August 2013|


Brumbies assistant coach Stephen Larkham says that a repeat of their performance against the Bulls last weekend will not be enough to beat the Chiefs in the Super Rugby final.

The Brumbies regular season draw left out a match against the Chiefs and several of the current squad have never played in Waikato where the Brumbies last won in 2007.

Larkham says that the Brumbies will need a differnet game plan to the one they used against the Bulls while also putting in a better overall performance if they are to win the title.

"We've certainly got to change our game plan to a certain extent and refocus on a different style of play," Larkham told the Press Association.

Larkham won two Super Rugby titles as a player with the Brumbies so he understands what the players are going through.

"They're the best team in New Zealand. There's a number of challenges that go with playing in a final, obviously the atmosphere in Hamilton is something that the guys haven't played in front of before," said Larkham.

"Playing in a grand final and playing against the best New Zealand side is something we haven't done this year, so there's a number of challenges for these guys."

Larkham has singled out All Blacks fly-half Aaron Cruden as the Chiefsbiggest attacking threat but also concedes that the hosts have match-winners across their team.

"Aaron Cruden's had another fantastic year, you watch his last couple of games and he's been a really dangerous player with ball-in-hand," he said.

"He's really elusive, I think the stats say something like one in every six times he touches the ball he gets a line break.

"He carved up Dan Carter last game and the previous game that they played against the Crusaders, so he's the in-form five-eighth at the moment.

"But you look at their backline and it doesn't stop there, they've got (Andrew) Horrell outside, they've got Bundee Aki, Gareth Anscombe at full-back and both wingers are really dangerous.

"Individually their backs are all really good players so you can't really single anyone out in particular otherwise you're going to forget about the other guy that makes a break against you."

Larkham said that the presence of his former team-mates Clyde Rathbone and George Smith was giving the younger Brumbies players a calming influence.

"Clyde and George both add a level of composure that other players probably don't have in this team and that's been really beneficial for the team in the last couple of games," he said.

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