Waratahs expecting to face hungry Reds in Brisbane

The Waratahs say that they are preparing themselves for a hungry and improved Reds Super Rugby team this weekend at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium on Saturday.

The Reds have played three matches and won one so far and having lost last weekend in Dunedin the Reds will be eager to register their second win on home soil.

Coming off a win before last round’s bye, the Waratahs will face their traditional adversaries, the Queensland Reds.

Last weekend James O’Connor, showcased a number of nice touches for the Reds in the number ten jersey in his much anticipated first start for the Reds since signing from French side Toulon.

Not only did the five-eighth register eight points with the boot, but in first Super Rugby match in 18 months, the wiry outside back highlighted his flair when he stormed past three defenders, before eventually being pulled down just short of the try-line.

And despite some rust in O’Connor’s overall performance, his efforts in combing with halfback, Will Genia, was enough to put the Waratahs on notice of things to come despite the Hunt drug controversy continuing to cloud the Reds preparation leading into the match.

“I thought for a first hit-out they were relatively good. They’re both world class players and the more they can get front foot-ball, the more you’ll likely see them shine,” reserve halfback Brendan McKibbin said on the Waratahs site.

“He’s (O’Connor) a threat every time he touches the ball and the more he can play with the guys and the more they can learn their combinations, the more comfortable he’ll feel. We’ve got to shutdown his time and space and limit his options in that area.”

Replacement forward, Pat McCutcheon, also cautioned his fellow team-members of the O’Connor threat, but added that the Reds would present an extra threat at home, despite the Hunt saga continuing to unfold.

“James is going to be a quality outfit and from what I hear he and Will Genia are a pretty deadly combination. He’s still got a lot to prove at ten and he wants to improve as a player so he’ll be formidable out there.

“You saw after that first week they really got behind one another and pulled out a really good performance and beat the Force. When teams are against the wall, they usually re-group and pull together and come away with the goods. You don’t want to underestimate that.”

While the Waratahs comfortably defeated the Reds in both of their two 2014 fixtures, last year’s champions said that they won’t be letting recent history lure themselves into a false of belief.

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