4/3/2014

Siliva earns start at hooker for Blues clash


The University of Canberra Brumbies have made just one change to their starting side with Siliva Siliva given a crack at the No.2 jumper for Friday’s clash with the Blues.

Stephen Moore will miss his first UC Brumbies game through injury since 2011 after the champion hooker was given a week to recover from a niggling knee concern.

With Siliva moving into the starting side, Josh Mann-Rea comes on to the UC Brumbies bench in what shapes as an otherwise untouched squad from the one which lost to the Rebels in Melbourne last Friday.

Director of Rugby Laurie Fisher said the Blues presented a significant challenge to the UC Brumbies.

“Like all New Zealand teams the Blues like to play, they’ve got tremendous attacking potential. They like to throw it around a bit and they can certainly score points,” Fisher said.

“But you look at their side this year they’ve introduced a bit more structure there too which is a point of difference for them.

“They’ve got some tidy pick and drive, a little bit of mauling so they’re a different team to what they’ve been in the past. “

The UC Brumbies will be fighting to reverse the trend of Blues victories in the Capital after the Auckland natives managed to bundle the University of Canberra Brumbies out of the competition on their last visit here in 2012.

That loss was one of the club’s most painful in recent years, causing the UC Brumbies to miss clinching the Australian Conference title and a spot in the playoffs by inches to Queensland. In 2013 the UC Brumbies managed to right some of the wrongs caused in 2012, smashing the Blues at Eden Park 20-13 in one of the team’s most clinical displays of the season.

The last time the UC Brumbies managed to beat the Blues at GIO Stadium, Canberra was in 2009 when the side came from a half-time deficit to post a 37-15 win. Five tries highlighted the win that evening and the UC Brumbies will be hoping for more of the same tonight. The Blues have been a mixed bag in 2014 and have not managed a win away from home.

They were unlucky against the Lions in Johannesburg, while a 35-24 win over the Crusaders proved they have the gumption to make a mark on the competition and score points against quality opposition. The Blue did not score less than 20 points through the first seven round of the competition, and come to Canberra as a genuine threat from anywhere on the paddock.

Friday, 4 April, 2014
UC Brumbies v Blues
GIO Stadium, Canberra
Kick-off: 7.40pm
Referee: Rohan Hoffmann

UC Brumbies
1. JP Smith
2. Siliva Siliva
3. Ben Alexander
4. Scott Fardy
5. Sam Carter
6. Jordan Smiler
7. Jarrad Butler
8. Ben Mowen ©
9. Nic White
10. Matt Toomua
11. Robbie Coleman
12. Pat McCabe
13. Tevita Kuridrani
14. Joe Tomane
15. Jesse Mogg

Replacements
16. Josh Mann-Rea
17. Ruan Smith
18. Ruaidhri Murphy
19. Jack Whetton
20. Lachlan McCaffrey
21. Conrad Hoffmann
22. Andrew Smith
23. Christian Lealiifano