Desperate Waratahs in State of Origin mode - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Desperate Waratahs in State of Origin mode

Darren Walton 16/06/2011 03:57:06 PM Comments (0)

The NSW Waratahs will take a State of Origin mentality into their must-win Super Rugby derby with the Brumbies at ANZ Stadium on Saturday night.

Just like Wednesday night at the same venue, it will be state against state, mate against mate as the Waratahs look to stitch up a finals berth with victory in the last round encounter.

Nothing less will be good enough for the Waratahs and coach Chris Hickey and centre Tom Carter on Thursday urged all NSW fans to get behind them.

"If we can get a good crowd behind us and plenty of support, like you saw last night at Origin with the Blues, I think we can get the job done," Hickey said.

"The reality is, if we don't perform on Saturday night, that's the end of our season.

"Saturday night will be a matter of doing whatever needs to be done to get the result we're looking for."

Hickey is a former Brumbies assistant coach and knows his former club will be looking to end their own season in style by ending the Waratahs'.

"I'm sure it will be running around in some people's heads there," he said.

"It may not be their prime motivation and they're coming off the back of two really good wins, so they're bringing a lot of momentum into this game."

Carter, a three-try hero in NSW's 33-7 win over the Highlanders last Saturday night, said there was never any love lost in Waratahs-Brumbies duels.

"They don't like us," he said.

"You only have to speak to Burgo (NSW halfback Luke Burgess) and Hangers (five-eighth Daniel Halangahu), who spent a bit of time down there in Brumbyland for a while.

"We know they're going to be out there to put an end to our season. They're claiming that it's not about that, but it definitely is.

"The reality is that the Brumbies and Waratahs derbies are pretty spiteful and there's a lot of passion there.

"The way we won our last game in Canberra (in the last minutes) as well, I think, will be in the back of their minds.

"It's an all-or-nothing game and we realise that if we don't win this week, then our season is judged by that.

"If you don't make the finals, it's not good enough, so we're under no illusions."

With Berrick Barnes taking the rest of the Super Rugby season off to recover from footballer's migraine, Carter will move to inside centre with Ryan Cross to start outside him after overcoming a knee injury.

"I'm happy to go wherever and do what's best for the team," Carter said.

"I'm comfortable defending there and Crossy was in some pretty good form before the injury in Durban, so (I'm) very comfortable going that way."

Star forwards Phil Waugh (hamstring), Benn Robinson (ankle) and Tatafu Polota-Nau (knee) once again sat out training on Thursday, but Hickey expected all three to participate in Friday's captain's run and be ready come kick-off.

Although the Waratahs enter the final round in seventh position, victory would guarantee them a playoff spot due to either the fifth-placed Bulls or sixth-placed Sharks dropping out of contention after their all-South African derby in Durban on Sunday morning (AEST).

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