Brumbies wary of lowly Blues in Canberra clash

Last updated 00:51 12/07/2012
Stephen Larkham
NO EASY BEATS: Brumbies backs coach Stephen Larkham.

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The wary Brumbies aren't being duped by the Blues lowly ladder position as they strive to secure their first Super Rugby finals spot in eight years.

The Canberra-based franchise needs only a single point from Saturday's match at Canberra Stadium to secure the Australian conference title ahead of defending champions Queensland.

The star-studded Blues, who were heavily fancied before the season started, are languishing in 13th spot - the lowest placed of the five New Zealand franchises.

"We are not thinking that the Blues are going to be easily beaten," Brumbies backs coach Stephen Larkham said.

"Coming over here, they they have had a disappointing year and every team that has a disappointing year - I know I was part of it last year - you want to finish on a good note."

A 32-9 last-round win over the Force ended a three-match losing streak for the Blues.

With prop Charlie Faumuina available again for the first time in two months after tearing his calf, the Blues will field their full strength front row for just the third time this year.

"There will be a bit of a challenge there and, across the forward pack, they have got some dangerous players in terms of ball carriers that are very powerful and mobile," Larkham said.

"They've got some very good individual players who can make line breaks, who can change games, who can score tries."

"It's something we're going to be very wary of. They have certainly changed their style throughout the season.

"They have been renowned for throwing the ball around from anywhere on the paddock and they have been quite dangerous at that.

"They have just refined their game a bit to be a bit more conservative at times and still have that ability to throw the ball around when it's needed."

One blow for the Blues in an injury-plagued season is the absence of dangerous winger Rene Ranger due to a groin strain.

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- AAP

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