Brumbies' preparation pay off

Getty Images     26 May 2013     Getty Images

Coach Jake White said to come to Auckland and play on the World Cup final stadium from 2011 had his players a little in awe of the situation although getting the result would be something to store in their memory banks.

White said the team had a mantra of developing the ability to learn quicker than the opposition and that had been borne out during the game, especially the way it was closed out.

"It is a tough competition and I don't think it gets too much tougher than playing at Eden Park, in the rain against a quality team," he said.

White felt the conditions had not favoured the Blues. They had won the toss and decided to play into the wind and then the wind turned and he felt some of the locals should have appreciated that.

They were also a ball-in-hand team who off-loaded and counter-attacked which, when the Brumbies got a good start, left the Blues chasing the game and creating the mistakes as a result.

The conditions meant it was a war of attrition with the pick and drive game dominating it required the side to hold onto the ball. The Brumbies did and the Blues didn't.

He felt his halfback Nic White and first five-eighths Matt Toomua had kicked so well and played field position for the forwards had been significant. Although he was concerned that White decided to try and take on Rene Ranger only to come off second best when hit unceremoniously in a superb tackle.

White said the Brumbies also had a loss to the Stormers in Cape Town in near similar conditions when they didn't have the decision-makers on the field, but they had shown how they had learned from that performance.

He felt his halfback was well-placed to push for national honours and the display in the conditions in Auckland would do him no harm at all, not only in the next few games but in the next couple of years.

Captain and No.8 Ben Mowen said the players woke up delighted to see it raining in Auckland because that was the type of conditions they had prepared for all week.

"The way we prepared this week to keep it tight, to play disciplined field position, to go three, six, nine ahead I looked at the times when the ball was spilled on the deck I looked at the urgency our guys had to get onto it or kick it through and chase it. They're all the signs you look for in a performance," he said.