Mentality is the key to unlocking the Waratahs' potential, flyhalf Bernard Foley says.
NSW's hot and cold season has been marred by mental lapses and they can't afford another roller coaster performance against the Chiefs this weekend.
The Waratahs were the last Australian side to defeat the Kiwis, a 45-25 victory against the Chiefs in Sydney last year.
With 12 survivors from that match, Foley said they had to try and draw on the mentality that propelled them just over a year ago, as much as anything else.
“We’re quite familiar with how we play the Chiefs but in saying that it’s an attitude and intent that’s going to get us the win,” he said.
“You can’t draw on past results and think that’s going to get you any merit, it’s more motivation and for a lot of guys who were there last year, they know how to do it.
“They know the intent and the head space they have to be in to get that result and that’s something we’ve got to draw on.”
NSW sits nine points behind the Brumbies, who took a bonus-point win against the Jaguares last weekend as the Waratahs went down to the Highlanders in Dunedin.
Foley said, though, the growing gulf was far from dampening their spirits as they look for a fourth straight win over the Chiefs.
“We were so disappointed with last week’s result and knowing how well we competed for that first 40 minutes and how we were able to score tries, even in that second half but we weren’t able to maintain it.,” he said.
“That's probably inspired, or fuelled a lot more guys.
“It’s unfortunate to see the Brumbies do what they do but I think for us, all we’ve ever said is (we have to) control what we can control.
“We can only go out and take responsibility for our own actions, so we’re keeping one eye on the Brumbies but our focus is on us and how we want to repair and this is a great game for us and always has been in the past. “
NSW has racked up the tries in the past three weeks, with 17 from their games against the Blues, Rebels and Highlanders, compared to 27 for their first nine matches.
The Chiefs, though, will be more difficult to penetrate, coming into the clash with the best defensive record in Super Rugby, having conceded just 23 tries this season, compared to the Waratahs’ 52.
While they might have the chance to bank points with the Kiwis the most penalised Super Rugby team in the competition, Foley said they would look to keep the ball in hand style that has sparked their recent success over the Waikato side.
“They’re a team that gets highly penalised but in saying that, they don’t allow many tries so therefore we have to take our opportunities when we get them,” he said.
“We want to play ball in hand, we want to attack, we want to use that interchange between forwards and backs which allow our big guys to really set a platform for us and get that go forward.
“It’s not going to be easy, it’s going to be a tough night and something we have to persist with over 80 minutes if we want to get that win.”
The Waratahs play the Chiefs on Saturday afternoon, kicking off at 3:05pm AEST LIVE on FOX SPORTS.