JavaScript disabled. Please enable JavaScript to use My News, My Clippings, My Comments and user settings.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

Waratahs remind Owen Franks of African teams


Richard Knowler

Over the top: Crusaders front-rower Owen Franks pulls off a tackle.

Over the top: Crusaders front-rower Owen Franks pulls off a tackle. Photo: Getty Images

It wasn't just Jacques Potgieter that reminded Owen Franks of South Africa whenever he watched the Waratahs.

Springbok lock Potgieter has been one of Michael Cheika's best forwards as the Waratahs, who have been unbeaten in Sydney this season, have roared into the Super Rugby grand final after an eight-match winning streak.

The vagaries of the Super Rugby draw meant the Crusaders did not play the Waratahs this season but Franks respects the way coach Cheika has moulded their pack into such a physical unit that could easily set up camp on the tip of the African continent.

Not meeting the New South Welshmen during the regular season will not be a disadvantage.

"I don’t think so," Crusaders tighthead prop Franks said. "I guess they are quite similar to the African teams. They have got a big forward pack, a good scrum and real explosive backs. They deserved to finish first [after the regular season]."

Cheika is expected to stick with Potgieter and Kane Douglas as his second-rowers, keeping Auckland-born lock Will Skelton, who is listed at 135 kilograms, on the bench for Saturday night's showdown at ANZ Stadium.

Having shaded the Sharks' scrum during Saturday night's 38-6 win in Christchurch, Franks should be quietly confident about the Crusaders front row's chances of holding their own against the Waratahs front row of Benn Robinson, Tatafu Polota-Nau and Sekope Kepu.

Being given the task of containing the Sharks pack was something Franks and his fellow tight forwards relished; in addition to nullifying their scrum, they disrupted their short lineouts with Sam Whitelock plundering several of Bismarck du Plessis' throws.

"As a tight five, yeah, we enjoyed it," Franks said. "They have one of the best scrums and lineouts in the competition and that's really our area – to get the job done and make the other guys' jobs easier."

Unlike the Sharks, who fell apart because of a poor kicking game and limited game plan, the Waratahs do not rely on Bernard Foley, Kurtley Beale and Nick Phipps to drive them to victory with their boots.

Instead, they carry well and their penchant for offloading in the tackle means men like fullback Israel Folau, wingers Alofa Alofa and Rob Horne and centre Adam Ashley-Cooper can record more running metres.

All Black Franks, 26, has won a World Cup medal but a Super Rugby title has eluded him since joining the Crusaders in 2009.

Like a number of his teammates who also played in the 2011 grand final loss to the Reds in Brisbane, he will recollect the fiery reception the Aussie fans can give on their home soil.

"I'm hungry to get one [a title] but am just staying in the present – just doing everything I can do give this team a chance of winning," Franks said. "Not much will change this week. You just try to stick to the same routines."

HuffPost Australia

Rugby World Cup 2015

Round 1
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG 35vs FJI 11 Report Stats
TGA 10vs GEO 17 Report Stats
IRE 50vs CAN 7 Report Stats
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 32vs JPN 34 Report Stats
FRA 32vs ITA 10 Report Stats
SAM 25vs USA 16 Report Stats
WAL 54vs URU 9 Report Stats
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 26vs ARG 16 Report Stats
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 45vs JPN 10 Report Stats
Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
AUS 28vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 38vs ROM 11 Report Stats
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 58vs NAM 14 Report Stats
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 54vs GEO 9 Report Stats
ITA 23vs CAN 18 Report Stats
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 46vs SAM 6 Report Stats
ENG 25vs WAL 28 Report Stats
AUS 65vs URU 3 Report Stats
SCO 39vs USA 16 Report Stats
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 44vs ROM 10 Report Stats
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 35vs NAM 21 Report Stats
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 23vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 41vs CAN 18 Report Stats
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 43vs GEO 10 Report Stats
SAM 5vs JPN 26 Report Stats
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 34vs SCO 16 Report Stats
ENG 13vs AUS 33 Report Stats
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 0vs TGA 0 00:30KPS
IRE 0vs ITA 0 02:45The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 0vs ROM 0 02:45KPS
FJI 0vs URU 0 06:00stadium:mk
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 0vs USA 0 02:45The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
NAM 0vs GEO 0 06:00Sand
Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
NZL 0vs TGA 0 06:00St James' Park
Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAM 0vs SCO 0 00:30St James' Park
AUS 0vs WAL 0 02:45Twic
ENG 0vs URU 0 06:00Manch
ARG 0vs NAM 0 22:00KPS
Mon, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
ITA 0vs ROM 0 00:30Sand
FRA 0vs IRE 0 02:45MilS
USA 0vs JPN 0 06:00Kholm
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinB 0vs RUpA 0 02:00Twic
WinC 0vs RUpD 0 06:00MilS
WinD 0vs RUpC 0 23:00MilS
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinA 0vs RUpB 0 02:00Twic
Sun, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF1 0vs WQF2 0 02:00Twic
Mon, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF3 0vs WQF4 0 03:00Twic
Sat, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
LSF1 0vs LSF2 0 07:00The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Sun, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
WSF1 0vs WSF2 0 03:00Twic
View All Fixtures
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 3 3 0 0 97 13
Wales 3 3 0 0 58 13
England 3 1 2 0 1 6
Fiji 3 0 3 0 -49 0
Uruguay 2 0 2 0 -107 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
South Africa 3 2 1 0 56 11
Scotland 3 2 1 0 40 10
Japan 3 2 1 0 -12 8
Samoa 3 1 2 0 -52 4
USA 2 0 2 0 -32 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
New Zealand 3 3 0 0 87 14
Tonga 2 1 1 0 7 6
Argentina 2 1 1 0 35 5
Georgia 3 1 2 0 -71 4
Namibia 2 0 2 0 -58 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
France 3 3 0 0 72 14
Ireland 2 2 0 0 77 10
Italy 2 1 1 0 -17 4
Canada 3 0 3 0 -71 1
Romania 2 0 2 0 -61 0
View all

Follow Us on Facebook

Featured advertisers