It’s a long time since an Australian super rugby team has been favourite to beat a New Zealand one.
But the New South Wales Waratahs maintain they’re not feeling the pressure at being heavily favoured to end the Australian drought.
Australian teams have lost their past 36 games against New Zealnad opposition with with the Waratahs notching the most recent win which was two years ago.
They play the Blues who languish at the bottom of the New Zealand conference having won just one of their past six games.
Bookmakers have installed the Waratahs as firm favourites, but lock Rob Simmons was adamant that wouldn’t put any pressure on the side.
“We know that history and obviously we’re going to go out their and try and change that this weekend, because we don’t want to go out there and lose,” Simmons said.
“But we want to go out and try and win this game and get some momentum back in our season.”.
Australian conference leaders NSW suffered a loss before their bye last week.
The Blues are the first New Zealand side NSW will play this season, with New Zealand teams providing the opposition in each of their next four fixtures.
“I think the way they play is probably a little bit faster, so I don’t think we change our style, we just need to up the speed and the ante of our decision making in the way we play,” Simmons said.
He doesn’t want to see the Waratahs lured into playing the same way as their New Zealand adversaries.
“If you start doing that they are going to beat you, you’ve just got to stick to your game plan and try and stop their little offloads and throwing the ball around and get them into a grind,” he said.
Saturday’s match is being played at Brookvale Oval in Sydney’s north, where former Queensland Reds lock Simmons first wore the Waratahs colours in a pre-season game against the Rebels back In February.
It was a day Simmons won’t forget, as he entered the game with virtually no sleep after the birth of his first child around 18 hours earlier.
His participation came to a premature end, after he suffered a cut above an eye.
“My record is not great there,” Simmons joked.
“All of 30 minutes and a scar to remember it.
“I’ve seen a lot of Manly (NRL) games out there and loved watching those and it would be great if we can get the same atmosphere.”