Johannesburg - The Waratahs have named an unchanged side for Friday’s match against the Auto and General Lions at the Sydney Football Stadium.
After just coming away with a victory over the Sharks, and in the process being booed by their own fans for their style of rugby, coach Chris Hickey has decided to put the lacklustre round four clash behind him and will be wanting his side’s second straight win in this year’s competition.
However, Hickey is wary of the Lions who were almost beaten last year at Ellis Park.
“We copped a scare against the Lions at Ellis Park last year and they certainly showed against the Chiefs in round two that they have a lot of points in them,” said Hickey. “That said, we’re going into this match confident of a strong attacking performance and we’re hoping to give the crowd at the SFS a great showing on Friday night.”
Hickey said the squad would be looking to move up a gear from last weekend’s victory with the comfort of not having to endure a week of travel.
“Effectively, we’ve spent seven weeks on the road when you include our pre-season in Lismore, Orange and Canberra, then starting the tournament in Brisbane, Cape Town, Pretoria and a long trip back to Sydney,” said Hickey. “While we were happy to get away with the win against the Sharks, we know there are a number of areas we need to improve this weekend.
“We’ve shown glimpses of our potential at times this season, but as a group we know we need to cut out the errors in execution, make good decisions on the run and put it together for a full 80 minutes.
“While we took advantage of the opportunities we had at the start of the Bulls game, we didn’t do that last week and we need to improve in that area from the first whistle.
“If we can do that, we’ll be giving ourselves the best chance of turning in a better performance and really start to build momentum moving into the middle part of the season.”
Waratahs: Sosene Anesi; Lachie Turner, Tom Carter, Berrick Barnes, Drew Mitchell; Daniel Halangahu, Luke Burgess; Wycliff Palu, Phil Waugh (capt), Dave Dennis, Kane Douglas, Dean Mumm, Al Baxter, Tatafu Polota-Bau, Benn Robinson.
Substitutes: Damien Fitzpatrick, Sekope Kepu, Will Caldwell, Ben Mowen, Joshn Holmes, Kurtley Beale, Rob Horne.