We believe we can win: Waratahs' Freier - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

We believe we can win: Waratahs' Freier

By Darren Walton 26/05/2008 06:27:27 PM Comments (0)

NSW hooker Adam Freier says there are two very good reasons why the Waratahs are supremely confident of reversing a last-up humbling at the hands of the Crusaders in Saturday night's Super 14 final in Christchurch.

"Confidence and belief. They're the two things that come to mind," Freier said when asked why the Waratahs were feeling so upbeat about their prospects of turning the tables on the Crusaders just eight weeks after a 34-7 shellacking at Jade Stadium.

The Waratahs actually held a 7-6 advantage in the round-six encounter before southern hemisphere rugby's six-time provincial kings piled on four tries in the final half hour to finish convincing winners.

Freier, though, insists the Waratahs will return to Christchurch believing they are capable of finally snaring an historic first Super championship.

"Going over there (last time), we definitely had the game plan to think we could beat them," he said.

"We didn't achieve that but, if you watch the video, well, it could have gone either way. They just ran away with it after getting two quick tries.

"So there's definitely a confidence and belief now, and that's not just token in saying that.

"We will genuinely go over there - and we said it in the change room straight after the (Sharks semi-final) game - and play footy against them and not be conservative and be concerned about what they're doing.

"We've just got to worry what we can do and do it well."

The Waratahs have also been buoyed by the Crusaders' loss of influential hooker Corey Flynn, who broke his forearm in last Saturday's semi-final rout of the Hurricanes.

Flynn has played the last 47 games for the Crusaders and Freier and NSW coach Ewen McKenzie think his absence from the season finale could be critical.

"That's a huge loss for Canterbury," Freier said.

"I know that the last time we really tried to target their lineout and target his throwing and he threw incredibly well and it didn't suit the way we wanted to play.

"Like most teams, we try to attack their lineout and he's one player that has really got his throwing right this season.

"That aside, his ball-playing ... he is a huge loss and we're going to have plenty of confidence from that. He's a great player."

McKenzie said Flynn's replacement, Ti'i Paulo, had huge boots to fill.

"If you actually look through their tryscoring during the year, he (Flynn) has been very influential, (and) obviously getting across the tryline (himself)," McKenzie said.

"He reads the game very well, he initiates a lot of key plays for them and adds a lot of momentum. So he's a pretty big loss.

"He's been there for a few years now and had the opportunity to play for the All Blacks, so I rate him as a pretty good player and that will be a blow."

In contrast, the Waratahs are hoping to be at full strength - despite Freier and fellow key forwards Phil Waugh, Rocky Elsom and Tatafu Polota-Nau, along with backs Lote Tuqiri, Rob Horne and Tom Carter all being rested from Monday's training session.

"There's a lot of people carrying little bumps and bruises at the moment, but it's just the nature of the competition at this time of the year," Freier said.

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