Brumbies centre wary of Highlanders All Blacks

James Mortimer and     10 Apr 2013    

“It’s exciting that there 9, 10 and 12 are All Blacks and almost all of their back three are as well.

“It’s what you want in a way, Nonu is one of the better 12’s in the world and also you have Colin Slade at fly-half who is a great player and an All Black as well.”

The prospect of trying to defend against Nonu is a scary thought for Toomua but one he believes the young Brumbies back line will be able to handle to restrict the big man’s movement.

“You look at him and he’s obviously a big guy who throws a lot of cut out passes, has good footwork and a good skills set,” Toomua said.

“If you rush up on him and make it a one on one it’s probably not what you want.

“You just have to smart about how you go against him.”

But Toomua insists that the Brumbies backs must not purely focus on Nonu’s game as the rest of the Highlanders back line are as lethal.

“There are a lot of good players in that back line, and as the old saying goes that if you focus too much on the one guy someone else will do something,” Toomua said.

“He is not the only threat, if we can work as a unit together with the likes of George Smith and Christian around me, that will go along way.”

University of Canberra Brumbies backs coach Stephen Larkham is well aware of the threat Nonu poses, having played against him on numerous occasions, but is confident that his back line will do the job against the Highlanders.

“They are a good side and you look at the games they have played, they have played some really good sides and they have only just lost everyone of those encounters,” Larkham said.

“They have definitely got a star studded back line and they use it very well, their combination of back line and forward play is quite good.

“We are really focusing on ourselves though and on getting our game in check, i guess against the Bulls and Kings we haven’t executed as well as we would of liked. So both sides have a lot to play for.”