Highlander Smith expects Waratahs to target him

Highlanders half back Aaron Smith says that he is expecting the Waratahs to target him when the current Super Rugby champions visit Dunedin on Saturday.

The Waratahs have made no secret that they will be trying to disrupt the All Black half back because if they can cut off his supply of ball to the backs they stand a much greater chance of victory.

“It’s pretty generic these days. Most teams have (that) plan and we have a plan to get their halfback as well,” Smith told Stuff.

“If you can stop it at the source, you are halfway there. If the forwards are able to give me good ball then hopefully the Waratahs aren’t able to put me under that pressure. They will have times when they are able to get me and it’s about how I react to that.”

Smith admits that he is a confrontational player although it does go with his position but he says it is something that he has worked hard on controlling because of he loses his composure it will impact on the players around him.

“I can go missing for a few minutes, because I get a bit angry. It was a big focus for me against the Chiefs because I knew they were coming for me ” said Smith.

“They hold you back, push you down, all those little things. It’s a week to week thing, every team is trying to get me.”

Smith also revealed that he finds it easier to shake off the verbal barbs and niggle he gets from South African and Australian teams compared to the New Zealand teams.

“They know me very well and know I’m feisty. A lot of them are my mates and they try to get into my head a bit. “

“I do the same to other people when they do a duff kick or something, that’s the banter of rugby.”

Smith said that the Highlanders are expecting a tough match and that they know they will have to bring their best game on Saturday.

“They’ve got a big pack and they’ve got some exciting backs. They aren’t the champions for nothing and we know we have to be right on our game. If we do the little things really well, we’ll go close.”

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