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Waratahs ready for Jaguares test

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'That's how we have to play - like a test match': Waratahs brace themselves for red-hot Jaguares

The NSW Waratahs are approaching Saturday night’s showdown with the red-hot Jaguares with Test-match intensity as they fight to keep their Super Rugby finals hopes alive.

Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson rates the Jaguares – who have won five of their past six games to rocket up the ladder – as a “top two” outfit.

But Waratahs and Wallabies lock Rob Simmons ranks the Argentines even higher than that.

“They’re basically an international team. I’m not too sure if they’ll have a player out there on the weekend who hasn’t played for their country,” Simmons said at Friday’s captain’s run.

“So they’re basically a Test-match team out there and that’s how we have to play – like a Test match.”

In somewhat of a conundrum for Gibson’s side, the Waratahs – sitting less than a win behind the Brumbies in the Australian conference – believe they control their finals fate yet have little idea how to plan for the free-running Jaguares.

“In counter-attack, they play really carefree. They really throw it around, get themselves a little bit isolated, but they seem to make it work,” Simmons said.

“It looks real frantic, but I think they know what’s going on. Their forwards interplay with their backs.

“It’s a little bit of a surprise packet and they sometimes get passes away that you woudn’t think is going to happen so basically they’re a really hard team to plan for.”

Apart from having to expect the unexpected, the Waratahs are hoping to impose themselves physically on Super Rugby’s Globetrotters.

“We can’t get too caught up in what they’re doing and we know they’re going to throw some stuff at us,” Simmons said.

“But you go back to rugby 101 and try to win that physical battle and that set-piece battle.

“Especially the forwards, if we can own that up front, our backs will do their part.”

Victory at Parramatta’s Bankwest Stadium would set up a grandstand finish to in the race for Australian conference honours and a guaranteed finals berth.

The Waratahs face the Melbourne Rebels, also play-off contenders, next week and then the Brumbies in the penultimate round before completing the home-and-away campaign against the Highlanders in New Zealand.

“Fingers crossed we need to win our last game because it means we are still in the comp,” Gibson said.

AAP

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'That's how we have to play - like a test match': Waratahs brace themselves for red-hot Jaguares