Wed, May 14, 2003 - Page 20 News List

ACT Brumbies plot strategy ahead of Blues confrontation

AP , SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA

The ACT Brumbies plan to target Auckland flyhalf Carlos Spencer in Saturday's Super 12 rugby semifinal, believing the Blues playmaker is susceptible to pressure.

Spencer has led Auckland to an 11-1 record in the round-robin portion of the tournament with the fastest backline in the competition. He had a hand in each of their four tries in last weekend's 29-17 win over the Hurricanes, who face the Crusaders in the other semifinal on Friday at Christchurch.

ACT flyhalf Stephen Larkham, who will miss the Eden Park match after dislocating his elbow in the 28-21 loss to the Crusaders last Friday, believes the 27-year-old Spencer hasn't been tested by opposing Super 12 teams.

"I think he's got some good forwards in front of him which give him good ball and he seems to have a bit more of a license to sit back and wait for opportunities rather than trying to mix it up off every phase," Larkham said Tuesday.

"The touches that he does get are usually when there's a little bit of room, the other players take over until the space comes and then he calls for it, and that's why he looks pretty good out there.

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