Brumbies' Mowen wary of taking on strong 'home' team
ACT Brumbies captain Ben Mowen may be living in Canberra nowadays, but he's a proud and loyal Brisbane boy - and he's tipping the Broncos to win the NRL premiership.
However, that was not the only prediction Mowen had yesterday ahead of the blockbusting Super Rugby showdown against the Reds in Brisbane on Saturday night.
Despite the Brumbies topping both the overall and Australian Conference ladders, Mowen has no doubt his side will enter the game as underdog.
The Brumbies currently lead the way with 33 points, while the Reds are second in the conference on 31, and fourth overall because of the conference system.
Mowen, who played seven times for the Reds before joining the Waratahs in 2008 and Brumbies last year, said it was going to be a huge challenge to beat the in-form Queensland combination and do it in front of a 40,000- strong crowd at Suncorp.
"I'd say we are definitely the underdogs, especially after the result they got last week (the Reds beat the Chiefs 31-23 in Hamilton)," Mowen said.
"The fact that the 2011 champs (the Reds) went over to the 2012 champs' backyard and knocked them over says a lot about where their mindset is at.
"They've said they were going to mark themselves on that game and I think everyone is pretty impressed by that performance by them.
"So to go up there we know what challenge is waiting for us and we know that even if we are a slightest bit off we won't get a result."
Mowen said the Brumbies' first-round 24-6 win over the Reds in Canberra would count for nothing come Saturday night.
"They are a much stronger side - they have got all their Wallabies back playing for them," he said.
"The game could be decided in a variety of positions, but a huge challenge for us will be to shut down Will (Genia) and his halves partner Quade Cooper.
"You have to negate them with your defence, but you also have to test them with your attack to make sure they are thinking of us as much as we are thinking of them."