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Who dares wins: Waratahs told to storm Stormers

Laying down the law ... Wallabies coach Robbie Deans puts students from Newcatle High School through their places yesterday. Deans has been in touch with the injured duo of Quade Cooper and James O'Connor.

Laying down the law ... Wallabies coach Robbie Deans puts students from Newcatle High School through their places yesterday. Deans has been in touch with the injured duo of Quade Cooper and James O'Connor. Photo: Jonathan Carroll

THE Waratahs will play a high-stakes game of truth or dare in Cape Town this weekend.

The dare will be to play the Stormers at their own game - defensive excellence and a strategic kicking game used to turn the screws on less composed opponents, who find themselves deep in their own halves and hopelessly alone.

The truth will be in the execution. They've had the practice against the Bulls and Crusaders in the past three weeks but came up short. Will it be third time lucky on what is likely to be a cold, wet night at Newlands?

"Bernard Foley's return at fullback is a boost for the Waratahs, who go into this game on a three-match losing streak".

"Bernard Foley's return at fullback is a boost for the Waratahs, who go into this game on a three-match losing streak". Photo: Getty Images

''It's been a bit of a common theme over the last couple of weeks,'' assistant coach Scott Bowen said. ''We've let teams off the hook and we can't do that again. These guys give you absolutely nothing so it's vitally important that whenever we get into field position we've got to come away with some sort of reward.''

He warned the Waratahs' backs had to be prepared to kick to get out of their own 22 on Saturday night. ''They're an extremely good defensive team, you've got to be able to kick well as well, there's no point playing a lot of football in your half because that's exactly what they're daring you to do,'' Bowen said.

''We've seen in the last couple of years the teams that have beaten them over here, Queensland kicked the cover off the ball and the Crusaders have done some pretty effective kicking as well, and they've been the only teams to beat them at home here.

"Will it be third time lucky on what is set to be a cold, wet night at Newlands?"

"Will it be third time lucky on what is set to be a cold, wet night at Newlands?" Photo: Steve Christo

''It's a pretty big challenge, so for the backs to get things right we need to obviously defuse what they throw at us in terms of their kick-chase, but then, I guess, turn the tables back on them and look at pressuring them.''

Bernard Foley's return at fullback is a boost for the Waratahs, who go into this game on a three-match losing streak.

Bowen said he was confident the former sevens player could easily slot into the back three with wingers Tom Kingston and Atieli Pakalani, who performed well last week under pressure from Bulls' kicking supremo Morne Steyn.

''We've had that [kicking pressure] over the last three weeks, the Crusaders, only three weeks ago, and both the Crusaders and Stormers kick more than any other team in the competition, so it's been a challenge we've had to overcome there,'' he said.

''And whilst the personnel has slightly changed, I think we're pretty confident that those guys know what to expect and how to deal with it, and hopefully they're going to make the right decisions on the night.''

The Waratahs have enjoyed some invaluable bonding time in Cape Town since their arrival on Wednesday night. Bowen said the geography of Sydney meant players sometimes struggled to spend time together socially. The squad visited the site of the old apartheid-era prison at Robben Island and were enjoying getting to know each other off the field.

But come Saturday in Cape Town, with a potential 40,000-strong crowd staring down at them from the stands at Newlands Stadium, the Waratahs will be asked, again, to tap into a hidden vein of cold, hard ruthlessness.

Attacking opportunities will be hard enough to come by against the top-seeded wildcard team without the visitors' creeping habit of letting points go begging getting in the way.

''It's [about] understanding that, as a team, when we get into that field position we need to come away with points,'' Bowen said. ''Whether that's backs carrying the ball or passing the ball or forwards carrying and retaining. Everyone just needs to have that hard-nosed mindset.''

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Rugby Internationals 2014

Round 1
Sat, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 18 vs TGA 18 Report Stats
FJI 25 vs ITA 14 Report Stats
NZL 20 vs ENG 15 Report Stats
AUS 50 vs FRA 23 Report Stats
Sun, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 47 vs WXV 13 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 29 Report Stats
USA 6 vs SCO 24 Report Stats
CAN 25 vs JPN 34 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sat, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 15 vs ITA Report Stats
FJI 45 vs TGA 17 Report Stats
NZL 28 vs ENG 27 Report Stats
AUS 6 vs FRA Report Stats
Sun, 15 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 38 vs WAL 16 Report Stats
CAN 17 vs SCO 19 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 23 Report Stats
USA 29 vs JPN 37 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Sat, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
ARG 19 vs SCO 21 Report Stats
FJI 13 vs SAM 18 Report Stats
JPN 26 vs ITA 23 Report Stats
AUS 39 vs FRA 13 Stats
NZL 36 vs ENG 13 Report Stats
Sun, 22 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 31 vs WAL 30 Report Stats
USA 38 vs CAN 35 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 4
Sun, 29 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 55 vs SCO 6 Report Stats
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Round 5
Sun, 02 NovTimes shown AEDT
BAR 36 vs AUS 40 Report Stats
USA 6 vs NZL 74 Report Stats
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Round 6
Sun, 09 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 24 vs SAM 13 Report Stats
ENG 21 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
WAL 28 vs AUS 33 Report Stats
FRA 40 vs FJI 14 Report Stats
IRE 29 vs RSA 15 Report Stats
SCO 41 vs ARG 31 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 7
Sun, 16 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 18 vs ARG 20 Report Stats
ENG 28 vs RSA 31 Report Stats
WAL 17 vs FJI 13 Report Stats
SCO 16 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
FRA 29 vs AUS 26 Report Stats
Mon, 17 NovTimes shown AEDT
IRE 49 vs GEO 7 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 8
Sun, 23 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 6 vs RSA 22 Report Stats
SCO 37 vs TGA 12 Report Stats
IRE 26 vs AUS 23 Report Stats
WAL 16 vs NZL 34 Report Stats
ENG 28 vs SAM 9 Report Stats
FRA 13 vs ARG 18 Report Stats
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Round 9
Sun, 30 NovTimes shown AEDT
ENG vs AUS 01:30Twic
WAL vs RSA 01:30MilS
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