NSW Waratahs captain Michael Hooper is convinced his front rowers have put in the time this week to help them withstand an anticipated scrum onslaught from a Sharks side containing one of South Africa's great props.
The Sharks have added considerable experience to their front row by restoring 98-Test Springbok prop Tendai "Beast' Mtawarira to their starting side.for the game in Durban starting midnight Sunday (AEST).
"Beast is very strong around scrum time and around the field," openside flanker Hooper said in a teleconference on Friday.
Tahs coach Daryl Gibson has looked to shore up his scrum stocks by naming Fijian Test prop and strong scrummager Kalivati Tawake on the bench for a potential Super debut.
"As the the week has gone on we've started to turn the noise up a bit on the things we need to beat these guys and what that is I think is we know they bring a good setpiece,' Hooper said.
"Scrums certainly being something that all the front rowers have put in some really good time in this week, knowledge and on the field.
"I believe the things that will put us in good stead are the things around our detail."
An injury last week to Wallaby veteran Rob Simmons prompted Gibson to switch Ned Hanigan from blindside flanker to the second row and bring Jed Holloway into the starting back row.
Tawake apart, the Waratahs bench includes some other forwards with little Super experience in prop Harry Johnson-Holmes and lock Nick Palmer, each of whom made their debut last week.
Former Melbourne Rebels flanker Will Miller is set to make his first Tahs Super appearance off the bench.
The Waratahs take on the Sharks in Durban on Sunday morning, kicking off at 12:05am AEDT, broadcast LIVE on FOX SPORTS.