Mortlock fancies Brumbies to beat Blues


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Brumbies captain Stirling Mortlock believes that after a month of inconsistent rugby by the Blues will present his side with a genuine chance of scoring an upset victory over them on Saturday night.

The Brumbies travel to Auckland where they have not won since 2001 to face the Blues who are third on the Super 14 ladder but have lost two of their past four games.

The Waratahs outplayed them last weekend and beat them 37-16 while the Western Force beat them by 10 points a month ago.

In the middle of those tow defeats the Blues picked up narrow wins over the Bulls and Stormers in Auckland.

Mortlock says that the Brumbies learned a lot about how to potentially dethrone the Blues by watching their loss to the Waratahs on Saturday.

“With the Tahs, it wasn’t so much specific moves, more the fundamentals they displayed in the win,” the Brumbies and Wallabies skipper told the Canberra Times.

“We’re going over there under no illusions how tough it will be … but having said that, the past couple of weeks they haven’t played as well as what they’re capable of.

“There’s an opportunity there but we’ve got to show a lot of intent, bring physicality and ball control is a key as well.

“Defensively [NSW] really worked well as a unit, trusted each other and had the physicality there, particularly at the breakdown.”

Mortlock’s coach Laurie Fisher agreed with Mortlock, saying the Blues’ chequered form gave his side added hope of leaving New Zealand with at least four competition points.

Fisher believes that the Waratahs’ performance at the Sydney Football Stadium last weekend provided the Brumbies coaching team with enough clues on how to approach the Blues this weekend.

“They just played with a good level of physicality, presented numbers in the line, went forward, made their tackles, went hard at Nick Evans, retained possession well and the Blues were ill-disciplined and gave away a lot of penalties in the first half,” Fischer said of NSW’s performance.

“You can’t use it as a blueprint, but if we can front up and play like we know we can play, put the pressure on them, control our possession, we can win the game.”

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