Cheika thrilled with Waratahs six try performance

Waratahs head coach Michael Cheika says that he was elated with the way the Waratahs performed in the second half of their 44-16 victory over the Highlanders.

The Waratahs ensured that they will finish the Super Rugby season in first place by beating the Highlanders and in the process scoring their highest points tally over the Dunedin side and beating the 41 points they posted in 2005.

Sealing first place in the Super Rugby standings at the end of the season gives the Waratahs an extra bye before the Semi-finals and also ensures that if they reach the final they will have home advantage.

Coach Cheika was thrilled with the result but particularly with the way his side piled on 33 points in the second half and secured a record six successive Super Rugby wins for the first time in NSW history.

“It’s a good feeling to achieve a goal that you set yourself at the start of the year and obviously it’s the first of our two objectives for the season. But more important was that I liked the way we played in the second half,” Cheika said.

“We knuckled down to try and be physical with the ball, we were good defensively and the tries came after that. It was good to see such a good crowd enjoy the afternoon and that’s really important for us.”

Despite securing the minor premiership and a home semi-final, Cheika would not buy into the hype surrounding his highly-fancied side.

“Finishing first is obviously important… But most of those box seats have an eject button. And if you’re not ready for what’s to come in the finals you’ll get ejected straight out,” he warned.

Waratahs captain Michael Hooper said that the players wanted to put in a special performance in the match.

“We said before the game we wanted it to be hard to choose a man of the match,” captain Michael Hooper said.

“And there were guys putting their hands up at this end of the season which is vital.”

“Everyone needs to be doing their job well and we did that tonight, six tries to one.”

Hooper said that they had been so focused on all of the other matches that they were not aware until Sunday morning that they could seal first place with the victory.

“We just woke up this morning and found that out,” said Hooper.

“It’s always been a week-to-week proposition for us this year.

“It’s been such a tough competition. The Queensland Reds will be solid next week and we just have to keep momentum going into the finals.”

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