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Brumbies tipped to mix styles

Friday, July 25, 2014

Update: 10:46AM NSW Waratahs defence guru Nathan Grey is tipping the Brumbies will display both the daring and grinding aspects of their game in Saturday's all-Australian Super Rugby semi-final.

The Brumbies have shown they can win games this year through both a kick-dominated territory game and expansive running rugby.

Waratahs assistant coach Grey, the man who has helped put the starch and structure into the competition's leading defence this year, expects the Brumbies to switch between styles at Allianz Stadium on Saturday.

"I think you're going to see a mix," Grey said.

"They are finding that balance well, when to kick and when to run.

"Certainly it's reflected in their play and also their coaching."

The return from injury of Wallabies five-eighth Matt Toomua has added spark to the Brumbies in their past two games, in which they scored 11 tries, nine of them through backs.

Grey nominated Toomua's running to the line as one of the big attacking threats.

"You can see from the tries that they've scored in the last couple of weeks, but there's lots of threats across the park," Grey said.

"Henry Speight is playing good football and he's a good ball carrier.

"Christian Lealiifano, he's got good feet at the line and he's a strong ball carrier as well.

"You've got Robbie Coleman on the edges, he's got good speed.

"Then in their forward pack, Ben Mowen carries well, Scott Fardy carries well, the list goes on.

"There's a few threats there, but we like to think that we've got a few threats ourselves and hopefully we can back ours in terms of shutting down their strengths."

While strong defence often wins big games in most sports, Grey pointed out the best attacking sides usually prevailed in Super Rugby.

"History shows that 13 teams who have been scoring the most points in the competition have won it and there's only been a handful of teams with the best defensive record who have won it, "Grey said.

"You need to have a good mix of both."

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