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'That's a crazy stat': Why Waratahs are optimistic ahead of Brumbies skirmish

By AAP
Lalakai Foketi. (Photo by Speed Media/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

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The Waratahs approach one of their biggest weeks of the Super Rugby Pacific season reeling from a disappointing loss, but spirits remain high heading into a clash with the Brumbies.

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They fell 20-16 to the Reds but had plenty of opportunities to pinch what would have been a huge win to start the season with two victories.

Centre Lalakai Foketi pointed to the fact his side had taken the ball inside the Reds’ 22 on 13 different occasions, but had scored just twice.

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“That’s a crazy stat for us to look at and think if we’re entering their 22 that many times … we gotta work something out there,” he said.

“We left a couple of opportunities out there we could have turned into points and potentially come away with the win.

“It’s one that got away last Friday night, we’re disappointed, we want to win.”

But with their key rival Brumbies on the menu on Saturday night, Foketi understood the importance of kicking on immediately and getting the season back on track.

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“There’s just something in this game, there’s a few boys down there everyone knows … we’re not taking them lightly, we know they’re a good side,” he said.

Fellow Waratah Jed Holloway agreed, although he felt the rivalry meant slightly more to those from the nation’s capital.

“Brumbies week has always been a huge one, I think they feel it a lot more than us,” he said.

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“But for us it’s about building on last week’s performance. We’re not trying to get too amped up for this weekend.”

But Brumbies prop and proud Canberra boy Tom Ross didn’t even pretend to downplay the importance he places on the fixture.

“Every Tah week has been special for me, growing up coming out to GIO Stadium as a youngster we’ve always wanted to beat the Waratahs and beat them well, that’s always been the goal,” he said.

“Tah week, we bloody love it.”

– Alex Mitchell

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