Brumbies skipper wary of the Force
BRUMBIES hooker and captain Stephen Moore has dismissed the Western Force's 42-13 home loss to the Hurricanes last round, ahead of their clash in Canberra tonight.
The Force will be boosted by the return of winger Nick Cummins after recovering from minor ankle surgery, but the Brumbies have made an impressive start to the season, beating the Queensland Reds and Melbourne Rebels on either side of a 79th-minute loss to the unbeaten Chiefs in Hamilton.
Moore said the Force's upset 25-13 win against defending champions the Waratahs in Sydney in the opening round was proof they were capable of an upset.
"They (the Force) had a pretty heavy loss last week, so they would have had a pretty tough week at training," Moore said.
"They would have done a lot of soul searching, and they'll come over here a better team I think.
"We've got to be at our best to win. They beat us in the trial not so long ago, and they've got Nick Cummins coming back in, which will give them a great boost."
Moore also said he hoped the Brumbies could continue to reap the benefits of work done on the team's maul in the off-season.
"We've scored a couple of tries off it, so that's a big change from last year," he said.
"We got a lot out of our rolling maul last year, but we didn't score tries from it.
"That's something we've tried to focus on this year, and thankfully in the first few rounds we've got a couple of maul tries."
Force prop Pek Cowan said his teammates have been honest and up front with each other after the loss to the Hurricanes.
"It's been a tough week. We've been pretty hard on ourselves in terms of our standards," said Cowan, who will break Nathan Sharpe's club record of 92 games tonight.
"The Brumbies are well drilled, they're very good at holding the ball and they score points from their set pieces - we need to challenge them there."
Meanwhile, the Chiefs will host the Highlanders in Hamilton in tonight's other game.
The Chiefs are unbeaten from three games.
The Highlanders have one win and a loss from the two games.
Round four (home team first): Friday: Chiefs v Highlanders, Brumbies v Western Force; Saturday: Blues v Lions, Reds v Waratahs, Cheetahs v Bulls, Stormers v Sharks. Byes: Crusaders, Hurricanes, Rebels.