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Brumbies ready to bounce back from Blues

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Thursday, February 14, 2013

MELBOURNE - It might be a new Super Rugby season but the Brumbies are treating their opening-round clash with Queensland as if it was just a week after last year's season-ending loss.

Still tormented by missing last season's finals by one point following a last-round upset loss to the Blues, Brumbies coach Jake White has chosen almost the same team to face the Reds on Saturday night, giving them the chance to make amends.

"He's essentially picked the same 22 for this game as that played against the Blues," said skipper Ben Mowen ahead of the Canberra Stadium match.

"He's actually put it back on us to say, 'Last time you guys took the field, it wasn't the result we needed. It's up to you guys to right it'.

"It's a pretty powerful thing to do as a coach to put it back on the players and really give them that responsibility."

The unheralded Brumbies went into the 2012 season considered lightweights and shocked many of the favoured teams.

But Mowen said the Blues' loss could be the most defining.

"In years to come, that will be a very beneficial game for us in terms of that we need to know that in every game you've got to be desperate to perform."

The Canberra game will mark flanker David Pocock's Super debut for his new side, with Mowen believing the Test star adds real fortitude to their mental game.