Chirpy Brumbies halfback Nic White says whoever sledged Israel Folau during their last Super Rugby clash against the NSW Waratahs “poked the wrong bear”.
White insists it wasn’t him and hopes whoever it was won’t make the same mistake again in Saturday’s do-or-die semi-final at Allianz Stadium.
“They poked the wrong bear,” White said on Thursday.
“It didn’t work that time, so I don’t think they’ll be doing it this time.”
Folau lit a fuse earlier in the week when he revealed that Wallabies teammates playing for the Brumbies sledged him during the Waratahs’ 39-8 victory last month.
Some immediately pointed their finger at White, especially because Folau singled him out ahead of that clash by stating that the Wallabies’ first-choice scrumhalf had “a fair bit to say”.
But White’s denial comes with a plausible alibi.
“He’s a long, long way away from me. I’ve got my head in there with the forwards,” White said.
White, who is one of the Brumbies’ main kickers, said he wouldn’t be tailoring his game to deny Folau counter-attacking opportunities come Saturday.
“It doesn’t matter what you throw at Izzy. He’s going to make it work,” White said.
“You’ve got to be on your game as there’s not one technique that will work against him. He’s a genuine freak.”
Yet Folau won’t be the only player to take to the field at Allianz Stadium in red-hot form.
White’s been outstanding himself, playing a huge role in the Brumbies’ past two knockout wins against the Western Force and Chiefs.
He opened the scoring against the Chiefs and then set-up their next two tries for a 19-point lead.
His combination with flyhalf Matt Toomua is only getting better every week and they’ll only benefit from the fact that an unchanged Brumbies squad has been named for the semi-final.
But White knows they’ll be up against it when they battle fellow Wallabies duo Nick Phipps and Bernard Foley.
“They’ve proven this year through the comp that they’re the most consistent halves,” he said.
“They’re really leading the Waratahs around the park.”
Brumbies: Jesse Mogg, Henry Speight, Tevita Kuridrani, Christian Lealiifano, Robbie Coleman, Matt Toomua, Nic White, Ben Mowen (capt), Jarrad Butler, Scott Fardy, Sam Carter, Leon Power, Ben Alexander, Josh Mann-Rea, Scott Sio. Res: Ruaidhri Murphy, Ruan Smith, Allan Alaalatoa, Fotu Auelua, Tom McVerry, Michael Dowsett, Joe Tomane, Pat McCabe.