The Brumbies stands as tall as Goliath for embattled Blues coach David Nucifora, the man who famously led the Brumbies to the Super 12 title after being told mid-season he would be axed.
A year later Nucifora, in his capacity as technical advisor of the Blues, helped plott the Brumbies downfall and engineer an unexpected win for the Blues against the Brumbies.
A further year on and it is the Brumbies who hope to heap more pain on their former mate. Nucifora, appointed Blues head coach, has not delivered in performance. The Blues are one win from four starts and have looked awful in the competition.
Nucifora’s credentials, never questioned before, are being scrutinized.
The men who ended his tenure at the Brumbies could be the same ones who deliver the knockout blow with the Blues.
Brumbies coach Laurie Fisher, who was Nucifora’s assistant in 2004, told the Australian Newspaper that Nucifora’s presence in the opposition would add spice to the showdown, but he down played any bitterness between the former coach and his former team.
Fisher suggested the greater motivation was getting an invaluable away win.
“I think the guys would certainly like to win for a number of reasons,” Fisher said. “One, because of the nature of the competition, a win away from home positions you very, very well.
I guess we would like to get one over Nussy (Nucifora). He got one over us. We’d like to get one over him … in a nice way. Natural competitiveness.”
Fisher emphasised how much the game would mean to the Blues.
“It is a very important game for them,” Fisher said. “It is probably a make or break game for them. They haven’t played well in any game this year. They haven’t played well for 80 minutes. They’ve played well in patches. They are coming off a break. They will have some things prepared that they probably haven’t used so far. If we are solid in our defence, work a little bit harder, we’ll be in the game.”