Waratahs expect Crusaders with a shoulder chip

Super Rugby champions the Waratahs say that they are bracing themselves for a match this weekend in Sydney against a Crusaders team with a chip on their shoulder.

The Waratahs ended an 11 match losing streak to the Crusaders with a last minute penalty shot from Bernard Foley which earned them their maiden Super Rugby title 10 months ago.

The Sydney side beat the Crusaders by a single point and the Foley has warned his team-mates that they will need to dig deep this week if they are to beat a Crusaders team that will be looking for revenge.

“For sure they’ll have a bit of a chip on their shoulder, it’s the one that got away I suppose so that’s how they’ll be thinking,” Foley told Stuff.

“We’ve got to go there with the same attitude … because they can’t have the mortgage on the pride or the resentment, to come back and hurt us. We’ve got to match them there and out-play them that way.”

Neither team have had a season that they will be happy with but when the Crusaders have hit form they have smashed their opponents.

They are renowned for being slow starters but the Christchurch side are down in ninth place currently and there are just four rounds left in the regular season so they will have to step it up soon or they will become the first Crusaders team to miss the play offs since 2001.

“When they’re on, they’ve demolished a couple of teams big time,” NSW coach Michael Cheika said.

“It’s going to be a big, physical game. A lot’s going to be around ball control. I genuinely think they fancy themselves to come here and beat us, so it’s going to be a big challenge for us.”

The Brumbies took back the top spot in the Australian Conference last week so the Waratahs also need to step up their game especially since they will tour South Africa for two weeks after this weekend.

Coach Michael Cheika is concerned about the number of bonus points his rivals have picked up because the Brumbies have won one less match than the Waratahs but they have won six bonus points more than the Sydney side.

“It’s showing on the ladder too, we’ve won two more games than our nearest rivals and we’re only two or three points ahead of them,” Cheika said.

“Just wins may not be enough. Performance is key, it’s what we’re looking for and for longer periods of time.”

Cheika also revealed that they had tweaked their game a little which brought Foley more into the Waratahs attack against the Sharks.

“We changed a couple of little things in our game to get him into the game more and I think that he was getting the ball at the right depth and the right time,” Cheika said.

“He made many more runs himself, so he was threatening himself with the ball, and he also had good distribution. I was really happy with his match.”

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