Hickey realistic over South African game - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hickey realistic over South African game

By Darren Walton 18/05/2010 07:38:37 AM Comments (0)

The travel-weary NSW Waratahs have arrived in South Africa for Saturday's Super 14 semi-final against the Stormers accepting there's no magic formula to scoring a rare win in the Republic.

No Australian side has ever won a Super rugby playoff match in South Africa and Waratahs coach Chris Hickey says finding a reason why isn't exactly rocket science.

"It's a long flight," Hickey told AAP from Durban on Monday night.

"You're in transit for probably 20 hours, I guess, from the time you leave one hotel (in Sydney) and reach another hotel here. So it's nice to put that behind us.

"It's never pleasant but we've done it a few times and we're getting better at managing it."

Former national coach Eddie Jones once famously had his Wallabies wear sunglasses on the long-haul flight to South Africa in desperate hope the radical tactic might help Australia break their losing streak there.

Hickey said the Waratahs didn't quite resort to such offbeat antics.

"It was nothing like that," he said.

"It's just about getting as comfortable as you can, watching a couple of movies and having a sleep and then we're here.

"There's no great secret to winning here. You've got to manage the travel side as best as possible and our strength and conditioning people are right on top of that.

"So primarily the first half of the week is all about recovery and recovering from the last game as well as the flight and then we'll probably get two training sessions in terms of preparation."

The Waratahs plan to have light training on Tuesday, then take Wednesday off and hold their main session on Thursday.

While the match is at Newlands, the all-business Tahs have based themselves in Durban for the week to avoid the distractions of Cape Town, the party capital of South Africa.

"We'll just travel down to Cape Town on Friday," Hickey said.

"I just think being away from Cape Town and preparing here is probably good preparation.

"It's a little bit quieter."

After completing a rare hat-trick of wins in South Africa last season, NSW lost both there matches in the Republic this campaign - to the Stormers and defending champion Bulls in rounds two and three.

Hickey denied Stormers claims on Monday that the Waratahs were psychologically scarred from their last-up 27-6 loss to the Cape Town outfit.

"We've had reasonable results when we've travelled to South Africa and what's happened before isn't that relevant," he said.

"It's all about making sure we're physically prepared and that we turn up mentally ready to play.

"If we can do that, then we give ourselves a real shot at beating the Stormers.

"If the Crusaders could win and we won, then that'd be ideal."

It's a long shot, but the Waratahs could yet host the title match at Sydney's ANZ Stadium if they beat the Stormers and the Crusaders upset the table-topping Bulls in Soweto.

Due to the looming soccer World Cup, the Bulls have given up a massive home-ground advantage to play in Soweto as opposed to Pretoria, where they have won their past 18 games.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2024 AAP

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