Waratahs ready to grind it out with Chiefs

After two limp efforts in the wet, the Waratahs are better prepared to face the Chiefs in what shapes as rain-hit maiden Super Rugby game in Wollongong.

The Waratahs have lumbered through their wet weather games this Super Rugby season but hope those experiences can make the difference when they host the Chiefs on Friday.

The competition's first ever game in Wollongong looks set to be marred by rain and heavy footing, which will be alien to a Chiefs team who have enjoyed hard surfaces to date.

Seasoned Waratahs forward Jed Holloway said his side chastised themselves for poor tactics in their losses to the Blues and Melbourne Rebels last month.

On both occasions they were guilty of playing too adventurously in damp conditions, according to Holloway, who was born and raised in Wollongong.

"Unfortunately I've been talking up Wollongong to the boys all week and then this weather comes," he said.

"It's always going to be a battle up front and hopefully we've learned from that. Our first games were quite like this so we need to learn from that to get wins in these types of conditions.

"Essentially it's to match them up front. And they play with a lot of variation so our defence needs to be strong."

Holloway felt his team's defensive physicality lifted to another level last week against the Lions, when a 29-17 win handed them their first competition points.

Repeating that against the New Zealand conference leaders would be critical.

Holloway said forwards coach Matt Cockbain had highlighted how the intensity of the Brumbies laid the platform when the Chiefs suffered their first loss of the season two weeks ago.

"It's a huge challenge, they're a quality outfit," Holloway said.

"Matty Cockbain talked about it earlier in the week. The Brumbies laid that blueprint for us.

"We're just looking to build on the excitement that came from the Lions game. That first 20 minutes that we put together is what we want to strive to be as our identity."

The Chiefs have also glanced backwards in their planning for the game.

Coach Warren Gatland said captain Sam Cane had highlighted their terrible record in Sydney, where they haven't beaten the hosts since 2007.

"Sometimes it is a change of venue that can bring about a little bit of luck and a change of fortunes," Gatland said.

"They (Waratahs) were desperate for a win in their last game and they've got that so they'll come in with a bit of confidence.

"A win against us and they're still in the hunt and feel like they've got an opportunity in terms of making quarter-finals."


AAP