Peter Hewat bringing razzle dazzle rugby back to Brumbies

Christian Lealiifano returns in Singapore.??
Christian Lealiifano returns in Singapore.??

ACT Brumbies back coach Peter Hewat has promised to bring "razzle dazzle" rugby back to Canberra with the assistant determined to create the best attacking team in Super Rugby.

The former New South Wales Waratahs fullback and 2005 Super Rubgy leading pointscorer joins a reshaped Brumbies coaching panel under first-year mentor Dan McKellar.

Hewat plans on shaking up the Brumbies attack next season in a bid to match it with the New Zealand teams who have dominated Australian sides in recent years.

The 39-year-old said the Brumbies must add more strings to their bow and started teaching his attacking philosophy when preseason kicked off last Thursday.

"I'm looking to change a few things up with the attack, be a little bit less structured and attack more from unstructured play, that's the way the game is moving," Hewat said.

"We're definitely not going to lose the strength of the Brumbies which is set piece and defence but we want to be dangerous in attack from anywhere on the field.

"Myself, Dan, Laurie [Fisher] and Peter [Ryan] are all seeing the same picture and it's great working with those guys, we're all on the same page and excited take the Brumbies to another level."

The Brumbies have lost 11 games in a row against Kiwi opposition dating back to round one last year and Hewat believes scoring plenty of points is the only way to break the hoodoo.

"You're not going to beat the Kiwi teams winning 6-0, so what we're looking to bring in attack is being more dangerous from unstructured positions, which the Kiwis are very good at," Hewat said.

"To match it when them we can't just rely on structured attack, we need to vary our attack and educate our players to give them the confidence to back themselves.

"If there is space available they need to back their ability and take it, they're all good footballers so we definitely won't put any blinkers on them."

The Brumbies crossed for 53 tries last season and only the Western Force and Melbourne Rebels scored less points, but they boasted the third-best defence.

The contrasting numbers saw the Brumbies finish just 36 points in the green on points differential, which Hewat admitted wasn't good enough.

"We're all aware we need to score more tries and we've been very strong with our set piece and our defence but we need new bring new structures to our attack," Hewat said.

"We really want to get back to those days when the Brumbies were playing with flair and razzle dazzle, which comes back to playing what's in front of you.

"We want to broaden the players horizons and encourage them to attack the space, it's just a mindset change for our guys in terms of the way we want to play.

"If they see space they must take it because the higher level you play the less space there is, so when those opportunities present you have to make the most it."

Hewat said the return of 19-Test Wallaby Christian Lealiifano and superstar flanker David Pocock makes the Brumbies a much stronger squad than 12 months ago.

"Christian is a very big key for us but not having him there last year gave guys opportunities to step up and they're going to be better for that experience," Hewat said.

"It's great to get him back, he's the heartbeat of the team and then with Pocck and the Wallabies boys getting more experience, there's plenty of firepower in the squad.

"The guys are a year older and wiser and we've signed some exciting young players from the Force, so I definitely believe we're a stronger squad than last year.

"We're excited for what lies ahead but the hard work starts now and we're under no illusions, it's a tight competition, we have to put our heads down and make sure we're ready come round one."

This story Peter Hewat bringing razzle dazzle rugby back to Brumbies first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.