Rugby apprentice finally meets master - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Rugby apprentice finally meets master

Laine Clark 19/04/2011 06:05:56 PM Comments (0)

The stage is set for an epic showdown between Queensland flanker Beau Robinson and NSW Waratahs nemesis Phil Waugh in Brisbane on Saturday night.

But try telling Robinson.

The Reds ball scavenger would be forgiven for wanting to prove a point not only to Waugh but the Waratahs at Suncorp Stadium this weekend.

For four seasons Robinson was Waugh's understudy at NSW, only to be cut and forced to grab a Super Rugby lifeline at Queensland.

In the biggest gamble of his career, Robinson moved from Sydney to Brisbane late last year despite missing a contract.

After only being guaranteed a spot in the Reds' wider training squad, a job and a house, Robinson dug deep and forced his way into Queensland's starting side.

He has been such a revelation that former Wallabies coach Bob Dwyer has described Robinson as "the form number seven in Australian rugby".

For the first time Robinson will line up in a starting side directly against Waugh, expected to return from injury along with the likes of Wycliff Palu, Berrick Barnes and Tom Carter.

Further sweetening the clash, the once maligned Reds are hot favourites to finally snap a seven-game losing streak against the Waratahs.

Yet Robinson is not getting too carried away.

"Has he (Waugh) even be confirmed? I don't want to pump it up too much," Robinson said on Tuesday.

"If he is running out on Saturday we will see what happens but until that moment we won't hold our breath."

Pressed on the showdown with Waugh, Robinson insisted breaking their NSW hoodoo was the priority.

"It is always good to test yourself against a likely (Wallabies) rival, the boys are definitely looking forward to those match-ups," Robinson said.

"And there are always blokes ahead of you (at a club) - you pick out their good traits and qualities.

"But our focus is just on trying to beat these blokes.

"It would just be nice for the Queensland Reds to get one over the Waratahs.

"Weall know it has been a while so we would like to get rid of that hoodoo - especially after the last game."

The "last game" ended in tears for Queensland, thumped 30-6 by NSW.

Robinson came off the Reds bench in that round two clash, but by then the damage had been done.

"It was definitely a turning point," Robinson said.

"At the time we probably didn't appreciate it.

"But now when we look back at it and maybe it wasn't as bad as it turned out to be.

"We have moved on and we have progressed - hopefully that can continue."

Since then the Reds have won a record six straight.

Queensland flanker Scott Higginbotham has never tasted victory against NSW - he will line up for his fifth game against the Waratahs on Saturday night.

"We've changed the way we have played since then (last NSW loss)," he said.

"We are a much better team - we will be able to show that this weekend."

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