Waratahs look to extend strong away form - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Waratahs look to extend strong away form

By Adrian Warren 19/02/2010 07:34:28 PM Comments (0)

If there is a secret to the Waratahs' stunning away record, they are keeping it under wraps before their Super 14 clash against the Stormers in Cape Town.

NSW have won their last five road games in the tough tournament, including their last three matches of 2009 in South Africa.

A late converted try to Wycliff Palu in Brisbane in a last-gasp win over Queensland last week preserved their away run.

The Waratahs have lost only two of their last 11 away games.

"It's just being aware of the challenges that you face away from home and realising that it's tougher than at home," NSW halfback Luke Burgess told AAP from Cape Town.

The Stormers started their campaign with a 26-13 away conquest of the Lions.

They will again feature prize recruits Bryan Habana and Jaque Fourie who have added further threats to a team already renowned for playing some of the most expansive rugby in South Africa.

Despite that reputation, Burgess emphasised the Stormers were still quite a disciplined outfit.

"They are really organised, they rely a lot on structure and we expect a lot of challenges," Burgess said.

Stormers' assistant coach Robbie Fleck said the two teams were very similar in style and acknowledged the importance of structure to his side.

"Both have strong kicking games and we are sort of quite structured and system-driven and when it's on, we play rugby," Fleck told the Stormers website.

The Waratahs' reputation for being able to grind out wins has earned the respect of the Stormers' coaching staff.

Fleck said his team wanted to produce more of the attacking rugby they showed in the first half of their win over the Lions in Johannesburg, but was wary of a Waratahs' combination he described as "a quality outfit".

"They are a very physical side and we need to match that, not only from the set piece point-of-view and attacking them at the source, but from a backline point-of-view too.

"They've got quality decision-makers in Berrick Barnes and Kurtley Beale.

"These guys can definitely make things happen," Fleck said.

Burgess was singled out for special mention by Fleck following his performance against Queensland.

"He really swung the game for the Waratahs when the Reds were dominating ... there was lots of space around the edges and he exposed that space," Fleck said.

"We have to watch him because he's a quality player but, for us, the real brains are the 9 (Burgess), 10 (Barnes) and 12 (Beale) combination, with the likes of Palu and (hooker Tatafu) Polota-Nau running hard onto the ball.

"They are a well-rounded side, so we have to really be sharp."

NSW coach Chris Hickey replaced injured lock Cam Jowitt and suspended flanker Dean Mumm with Kane Douglas and Ben Mowen, respectively.

Stormers' coach Allister Coetzee brought in Springbok halfback Ricky Januarie for Dewaldt Duvenhage and replaced injured prop Wicus Blaauw with JC Kritzinger.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2023 AAP

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