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Highlanders brace for Brumbies breakout

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Tuesday, July 19, 2016    Lynn McConnell    Getty Images

Assistant coach Tony Brown knows the Highlanders have always found the Brumbies at home a tough assignment.

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"Australian teams are always a tough challenge for us, they've got a lot of good rugby players who play a pretty good style of footy so every time we play an Aussie team we know we are up for a pretty tough game," he said.

Training had been parred back ahead of the game, it was more about recovering from a tough game against the Chiefs.

"Then it's about us getting ready to play against a pretty good Brumbies side," he said.

"Canberra is always a tough place to go and they've got a pretty proud record there and this is the first time we've played a play-off game there so it's going to be a challenge in itself so we're looking forward to it."
The Highlanders expected there would be every chance that Australia's best player David Pocock, who is recovering from an eye socket fracture, would play in the game.

"I'm sure he will want to play and will be doing his best to play. We're preparing to play him," Brown said.

The side would also be preparing for wet-weather rugby judging by the forecast which only added to the difficulties associated with playing in Canberra at night time.

There were sore bodies in the side but it was play-offs time which was what they had been working towards since the start of the season and everyone wanted to be ready for that challenge.

Being knockout rugby there would be some intense play in the first 30 minutes which would be challenging but a case of attempting to play their own game under the pressure of the match situation. It was a case of being prepared defensively for what the Brumbies would throw at them.

Brown said compared to when he was playing the game was faster and more physical. But the players were better prepared to cope with that than when he played.