"No prisoners taken": Waratahs ready to unleash against Reds

Super Rugby - AU
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Lock Ned Hanigan says the Waratahs are ready to unleash a weeks-long build-up of ferocity against the Reds this weekend.

Saturday night's game is a must-win for the Waratahs, who are 1-3 at the halfway point of the season and at risk of dropping out of finals contention.

The sides' round one clash at Suncorp Stadium was one of the more fierce of recent rimes and Hanigan said he expected more of the same in round six.

"It's always bloody good playing Queensland and I'm pretty excited about it. It's been brewing for a couple of weeks," he said.

"I love that side of the game and I think that, you're probably playing your mate a little bit but with the 80 minutes you're playing against them it's full tilt.

"There's no prisoners taken."

The Waratahs have had two weeks to stew on a disappointing 29-10 loss to the Rebels a fortnight ago and Hanigan said that result added to their keenness to come out firing this weekend.

"You always look for those things but we've, even throughout the season we feel like we've taken a few steps in the right direction in that Rebels game we weren't real happy with our performance and that's left a bit of fire in the belly as well," he said.

"There's always plenty to play for and the Queensland -NSW game is something every player from both sides wants to be a part of.

"You've got a trophy on the line and then it's just that rivalry you want to be a part of and round one against them is adding to it."

Hanigan has been playing in the second row regularly this season and said he was preparing for a "big day at the office" against Queensland.

"When you've got a back row running around like we've go at the moment with Hoops (Michael Hooper),  Demmo (Jack Dempsey) and Swints (Lachie Swinton) and all of them are playing bloody good footy so being in the second row it's going to be another big day at the office," he said.

"There was a fair bit of chatter around their scrum coming up against ours so it's just another thing we're up for."

Hanigan and Simmons have been solid in the lineout, particularly defensively, through the season but were outpointed by the Rebels in their last outing.

"There's no real hiding in a lineout either," he said.

"It's very, your opposite if you beat him, along with a few of the combinations with the hooker and lifters so it's something that we'definitely concentrate on and making sure every game we keep getting better.

"'We probably took a bit of a step back against the Rebels and to their credit they had a bloody good day in the lineout so having that extra week to get a bit prepared and making sure that's a part of our game that we get right this weekend."

This week marks the halfway point of the Super Rugby AU competition and Hanigan said the intensity was certainly lifted with each game having a local meaning.

"I love it," he said.

"I reckon you get the opportunity, although playing Queensland's got a bit more fire in the belly with it, being able to have those rivalries every week is always a trophy up for grabs, that bit of silverware's always nice.

"I think being on TV and a good time for viewers to watch it and things like that, I think it definitely has worked in our favour and people are getting around it."

The Reds take on the Waratahs on Saturday August 8 at the SCG, kicking off at 7:15pm AEST, LIVE on Foxtel, Foxtel Now and Kayo Sports. Buy tickets here. Buy a Kayo Sports subscription here.