Vodacom Super 14

Waratahs ready to feast

2009-04-09 12:34
Chris Hickey (File)
Sydney - Their breakfast club days may be over but the Waratahs' very own brat pack is salivating at the prospect of feasting on the Bulls in Saturday's Super 14 showdown at the Sydney Football Stadium.

Just ask powerhouse hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau, who is counting down the hours until he locks horns with the most fearsome forwards in Super rugby.

"There's nothing better than getting into them and really bashing them and putting them on the ground really. It's what we all live for," Polota-Nau said on Thursday.

Perhaps not what everyone lives for, but certainly Polota-Nau, who, along with Test prop Benn Robinson are the self-appointed leaders of the Waratahs' frontrow club in the absence of injured stars Matt Dunning, Al Baxter and Adam Freier.

Polota-Nau, who - at just 23 - will become the youngest player to make 50 appearances for the Waratahs on Saturday, says the Waratahs frontrowers love nothing more than getting together to plot their rivals' downfall.

"We don't really have our usual frontrow breakfasts as we did last year, but nonetheless we always get up and chat and talk about different scrum tactics to take into the game," he said.

"South African teams are really well-known for their physicality so we just have to front up and match it and hopefully take it to them and dominate them rather than them dominating us.

"The Bulls are a really physical pack and they also like to play on the front foot.

"So we're going to take into the game how we want to stop them behind the advantage line and hopefully make some dominant tackles and hopefully grab the ball and play ourselves on the front foot.

"As a pack, we don't think we've really reached our full potential so hopefully we can bring it out against the Bulls, and in future games."

The fourth-placed Bulls have a habit of causing the Waratahs problems, winning the last three encounters between the sides, and will be hungry for more success to stay in touch with the third-placed Tahs as the playoffs loom.

"They've all got their own physicalities about them and with the Bulls, it's just magnified because of the size of the players that you're playing against," said Waratahs coach Chris Hickey.

"They also play a very direct game and they're very strong in all the physical contests.

"That's exactly what we expect on Saturday night.

Led by man mountain locks Bakkies Botha and Victor Matfield, South Africa's World Cup-winning second row, the Bulls pack also outweighs the Waratahs in the experience stakes.

Hickey, though, has full faith in his charges.

"They're aware of the challenge and that will bring the best out of them," he said.

"It's not something that's daunting to them. It's something they relish - the opportunity to play against quality players.

"At the end of the day, it's really just about keeping your focus on your game and what you're going to do.

"There's always an opposition in front of you and it doesn't matter what their name is; you've just got to be focused to beat your man, the man in front of you."


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