Tahs ready to break Pretoria drought

Fri, 26 Apr 2013 12:55
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Waratahs coach Michael Cheika backed his side to deliver the goods against the South African conference-leading Bulls in Pretoria this weekend.

Waratahs coach Michael Cheika has backed his Dave Dennis-led side to deliver the goods against the South African conference-leading Bulls in Pretoria this weekend.

After last week's 25-20 win over the 2012 Super Rugby champions the Chiefs, the Waratahs have now won their last three home games and a victory in Pretoria would be a massive boost to the side.  

The last time NSW beat the Bulls in any match was 23-13 in the 2005 Super 12 semifinal in Sydney and victory in Pretoria has been even harder to come by, with the Waratahs' last win an impressive 51-19 effort back in 2002.

Cheika believes the selection of hardworking and courageous wing Tom Kingston combined with an unrelenting forward pack will help deliver NSW's first win in Pretoria in over a decade.

"Tom Kingston was unlucky to miss out last week when I picked Cam Crawford," said the coach.  

"I felt that this might be a good game for Tom, he's very hard working and we expect that there's going to be a lot of kicks to chase, so a lot of running forward and back," he said, before adding that he also expected to give replacement wing Peter Betham a chance in the latter stages.

"The way the Bulls play we'll have to use everyone this week."

The game will be Tatafu Polota-Nau's 100th provincial game for NSW.

First capped in 2005 against Auckland, Cheika expects the physicality of the Pretoria clash to suit the battering ram hooker.

"It should be a good game for him to show his skills off in his 100th cap.  

"We've got an opportunity to show that we can compete in the most difficult of circumstances, it's like a cauldron over here, guys like Tatafu, Cliff, Sita, they love that physical confrontation and battle, and this game should suit them.  The Bulls bring a good body height and a great attitude to contact.  If we want to be able to attack and get that opportunity, the platform must be laid."  

The Waratahs' victory over the Chiefs last weekend was the side's third win in a row and the game against the Bulls offers a great opportunity to continue to build on that momentum.

"For sure, this is our biggest battle of the season so far," admitted Cheika.

"The squad has trained hard all week and I'm pretty happy with the attitude of everyone here. Now it's a case of resting up before the game and seeing how we go.

"[Playing sides like Bulls] is part of our improvement and development.  We've got to be able to compete, we've got to become more consistent.  We got to have no doubt, and just get stuck in. I'm looking forward to it."

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Wed, 31 May 2017
New Zealand U20 v Scotland U20 07h00 AIA Arena
England U20 v Samoa U20 07h00 Tbilisi
South Africa U20 v France U20 09h30 Tbilisi
Ireland U20 v Italy U20 09h30 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v Georgia U20 12h00 Tbilisi
Australia U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Tbilisi
Fri, 02 June 2017
Blues v Reds 07h35 Auckland
Sat, 03 June 2017
Crusaders v Highlanders 02h35 Christchurch
Chiefs v Waratahs 05h05 Hamilton
NZ Barbarians v B&I Lions 07h35 Toll Stadium
Brumbies v Rebels 09h45 Canberra
Force v Hurricanes 11h35 Perth
Sun, 04 June 2017
Argentina U20 v France U20 07h00 Tbilisi
Ireland U20 v Scotland U20 07h00 AIA Arena
Australia U20 v Samoa U20 09h30 Tbilisi
New Zealand U20 v Italy U20 09h30 AIA Arena
South Africa U20 v Georgia U20 12h00 Tbilisi
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 28 May 2017
Lions v Kings 54 | 10
Sat, 27 May 2017
Jaguares v Brumbies 15 | 39
Munster v Scarlets 22 | 46
Sharks v Stormers 22 | 10
Wasps v Exeter Chiefs 20 | 23
Bulls v Hurricanes 20 | 34
Rebels v Crusaders 19 | 41
Highlanders v Waratahs 44 | 28
Sunwolves v Cheetahs 7 | 47
Fri, 26 May 2017
Reds v Force 26 | 40
Blues v Chiefs 16 | 16
Sun, 21 May 2017
Waratahs v Rebels 50 | 23
Sat, 20 May 2017
Kings v Brumbies 10 | 19
Munster v Ospreys 23 | 3
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 21 | 20
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 12 5 0 7 28
Waratahs 12 4 0 8 19
Force 12 4 0 8 17
Reds 12 3 0 9 16
Rebels 12 1 1 10 8
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 13 13 0 0 59
Hurricanes 12 10 0 2 48
Highlanders 13 10 0 3 45
Chiefs 12 9 1 2 45
Blues 13 6 1 6 33
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 12 7 0 5 34
Cheetahs 13 3 0 10 16
Bulls 12 3 0 9 15
Sunwolves 12 1 0 11 7
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 13 12 0 1 56
Sharks 13 9 1 3 42
Jaguares 12 5 0 7 24
Kings 12 4 0 8 19