Hoiles wary of Highlanders under-rated forwards

Waratahs flanker Stephen Hoiles has warned his team-mates that the Highlanders pack could cause problems for the defending Super Rugby champions in their Semi-final on Saturday.

The Waratahs will host the Highlanders in their Super Rugby Semi-final at Allianz Stadium with the winner progressing to the final.

The Highlanders pack completely outmuscled the Chiefs in the Super Rugby Qualifier last week defeating the Chiefs 24-13.

“Watching their Qualifier the other night they were very impressive and they have been impressive all year. Probably because of how strong that New Zealand conference has been,” Holies said.

“They have snuck under the radar for most of the season but the last few weeks it has been really obvious just how exciting they are. They play a really good style of footy to and that’s something that all the fans can appreciate and hopefully we’ll see one on Saturday night.

“They (Highlanders forwards) don’t get the raps they deserve to be honest. They have had a similar side for the last couple of years and they have been building well.

“Their forward pack is a very hard working forward pack and they have some very dynamic players. They are a determined pack that don’t get the accolades they deserve and I think that’s probably the way they like it down the South of New Zealand.

“They’re not the big names of the other sides and they probably feel they are the side to get the least praise in New Zealand and I’m sure they feed off that.”

The Highlanders will travel to Sydney with aim of knocking over the defending Champions in their bid to make a consecutive Super Rugby Final.

Hoiles believes the Waratahs 2015 season has made the NSW squad stronger.

“Having ten games straight was a challenge for us.

“This season has been different to last year because we have to fight for more wins. We haven’t had the dream run we had in 2014 where we put sides away by 20-30 points and we’ve had to fight for the games we’ve had.

“I think that’s helped us. We’re trying to do something that no Australian team has done before so we very much feel as though our backs are against the wall and that’s the mentality we’re taking into the match.”

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