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Sun Apr 20 22:59:00 SAST 2014

White hurting after play-off misery

TEAMtalk Media | 19 July, 2012 13:580 Comments
Brumbies coach Jake White looks on during the Super Rugby match between the Hurricanes and the Brumbies at Westpac Stadium on May 18, 2012 in Wellington, New Zealand
Image by: Hagen Hopkins / Getty Images

Brumbies coach Jake White admits that it's still difficult to come to terms with his side's failure to make the play-offs.

The Canberra-based outfit's 30-16 home loss to the Blues last week saw them surrendering their spot at the top of the Australian conference to the Reds.

And although it's difficult to hide his disappointment, White acknowledges that the team have made great strides under his leadership.

"We leave a bit disappointed but, if we take a step back and really reflect, it's not a bad effort," he told AAP.

"Considering where we started, considering what we had, considering what the expectations were from outside ... we surprised a lot of people.

"It might not feel like we passed but we got 80 percent (of points on offer) - that's a distinction.

"It's not very often you get a distinction and still feel like you failed," added White.

The former Springbok coach's short time in charge of the Brumbies has yielded a spectacular turnaround in their fortunes.

By finishing in seventh place on the overall table, the Brumbies have improved considerably on last year's effort when they had to be satisfied with 13th position. And their 10 wins is more than double their 2011 effort when they only managed four victories.

"The aura of the Brumbies is so much more evident," White said.

"Ex-Brumbies say that it's reminiscent of the old days and they're very thankful for that."

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