We are going there to beat the Crusaders :Freier



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Waratahs second choice hooker Adam Freier has been talking tough and argues that the Waratahs have the game plan to win the Super 14 final and his hooking partner Tatafu Polota-Nau looks set to be named in the team again which means that the Crusaders will face a full strength team.

Polota-Nau also looks set to be going up against Brumbies recruit Stephen Moore for the Test hooking spot in a few weeks but first he needs to recover from a sprained hand which ruled him out of the Semi-final.

However, even with his right hand well strapped at Waratahs training last night, Polota-Nau showed that he was not hampered with his line out throwing, spending most of the session practicing his set-piece work with Dan Vickerman and the other Waratahs jumpers.

The practice showed that Polota-Nau is in line to return directly to the Waratahs starting XV while David Lyons, the other forward who missed the semi-final, because of a hamstring injury, sat out the session, but is expected to be picked in the 22-man squad.

Polota-Nau’s return comes at the perfect time as Crusaders first choice hooker Corey Flynn has been ruled out with a broken forearm which he injured the the Crusaders semi-final.

Freier told RugbyHeaven that losing Flynn was “a huge, huge loss for Canterbury, and we’re going to get a lot of confidence out of that”.

“Last time we played them, we really tried to target their line out and target his [Flynn’s] throwing,” Freier said.

“But he threw really well, and it didn’t really suit the way we wanted to play. Like most teams, we try to attack their line out, and he was one person who really got his throwing right this season.”

The Waratahs look to be a determined team with one goal on their minds and that is to claim the Super 14 champions title. Coincedentally one member of their coaching team Todd Louden won the title last year with the Bulls.

Many a Waratahs team have gone to Christchurch and returned after being humbled such as the 2002 team which was hammered 96-19.

But Freier is convinced that this Waratahs line-up doesn’t just talk the talk. It will deliver.

“It is all about peaking at the right time,” Freier said.

“The coaching staff have done a great job in ensuring that happens this season. In years past, we’ve probably started really well, then had a bit of a soft spot, and finished poorly. This year has been almost the opposite, and there is such a great feeling of confidence in the squad at the moment.

“We know how to win there, and we know how to beat the Crusaders. We definitely have the team to do it.”

So why does Freier believe they can win this time when they recently went down to the Crusaders 34 -7 ? “Confidence and belief,” Freier explained.

“Last time, we had the game plan to think we could beat them, but we didn’t achieve it. If you watch the video, it could have gone either way. They ran away with it by getting two quick tries.

“There’s definitely the confidence and belief now, and it’s not just token in saying that. We will go over there and play footy against them. Don’t be conservative. Don’t be concerned about what they’re doing. We’re just going to worry about what we can do, and do it well.”

Crusaders coach Robbie Deans has begun the process of studying the Waratahs and watching the videos of recent matches, in particular their semi-final triumph.

Deans agreed with Freier that the Waratahs were peaking at the right time, saying that they had “really added some confidence and fluidity to their attack”.

“They’ve always been sticky, defensively,” Deans said, adding the final was “going to be an epic”.



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