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Brumbies on Le Roux rugby alert

AAP
Friday, May 16, 2014

Update: 1:05PM WHEN it comes to Super Rugby line breaks, there's Cheetahs winger Willie Le Roux and then there's daylight.

Brumbies centre Christian Lealiifano admits he'll be on high alert in Bloemfontein on Sunday morning (AEST), constantly on the lookout for where the roaming Springboks' flyer will pop up next.

Le Roux has created an unrivalled 13 line-break assists this season, while also running through for seven of his own - according to Foxsports stats.

In distant second is hulking All Blacks winger Julian Savea with a combined total of 15.

Even when Le Roux fails to bust the line, he's still dangerous. Only Wallaby stars Israel Folau and Quade Cooper have performed more offloads.

"He's pretty much the X-factor," Lealiifano says.

"There's no way to individually defend against Le Roux's brilliance," Lealiifano adds. "You've just got to trust the men on either side of you.

"Le Roux can do anything from anywhere - chip and chase - he's such a key threat for us," he said.

"We'll do the work on him and try and shut him down."

That's exactly what the watertight Force did in their 23-16 win on the weekend, which was Le Roux's quietest game of the season.

But Lealiifano knows the Cheetahs - who the Brumbies pipped in last year's finals, courtesy of a missed conversion after the siren - can turn it on in the space of a week.

"We've seen what they can do, including that start they got against the Chiefs. They can score from anywhere," he said.

"They're such a dangerous side, especially at home."

The Brumbies copped a lot of flack for their kickathon wet-weather win over the Sharks on Saturday.

Head coach Stephen Larkham assured fans that the predicted drier conditions meant his side would boot away less possession this week.

The second-last placed Cheetahs have also scored more tries from their own half than any other side this season, which is indicative of Le Roux and fullback Hennie Daniller's willingness to run the ball from kick-returns.

"We have to be careful with our tactical kicking. They certainly do chance their arm running out of their own end," Larkham said.

"When we kick, that defence line has to be spot on."

The Brumbies have made just one run-on change, Henry Speight making a clean swap with injured Wallabies winger Joe Tomane.





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