Star Waratahs flyhalf Bernard Foley has warned his teammates that the Southern Kings will test them when the sides clash in a Super Rugby showdown in Sydney on Friday (kickoff 11.45am).
The concussion symptoms that kept Foley grounded for the majority of the first half of the Super Rugby season have all but gone and the test flyhalf is ready to reignite the Waratahs’ campaign.
At the midway point in the season, the Waratahs are languishing towards the bottom of the Super Rugby standings, sitting on eight points after just two wins from their opening seven matches.
“The Kings are a very dangerous team and we’ve seen the last couple of weeks how many points they do have in them,” Foley said.
“They’re a side that are going to challenge us.”
After winning only one of their opening seven matches, the Kings will be desperate to salvage something from their Australian tour following defeats against the Western Force and Reds.
Foley, the Waratahs’ playmaker and general, is fit and confident after missing five matches, including the opening four.
“The concussion-like symptoms are done and dusted.
“Removing ourselves from the last block of games and then looking forward to the next month of footy,” he said
“It’s not just about scoring points, it’s also getting our defence in line and getting our structures in place and taking every game, game by game.
“We can’t look ahead or look at what’s coming up. I think we just have to take it game by game.
“This [Friday’s] game’s an exciting chance for us getting back home in front of our fans.”
Foley said winning the big moments and consistency in their games was what the Waratahs needed to do to turn around their season.
“I think that second half against the Hurricanes gave us that belief and confidence in what we’ve been doing and if we stick at it and apply ourselves we’re going to be a dangerous team,” he said.
“What we can’t do is give them a 40-minute headstart.
“We’re all about competing and being genuine in this competition, and if we’re going to do that we’ve got to play for 80 minutes.
“We want to be contenders and [to do that] we have to play for 80 minutes.”
Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson wants his team to fix their frail defence for Friday’s showdown.
Gibson knows his team will have to be vigilant against a Kings outfit who have scored 11 tries in their previous two matches against the Western Force and Reds.
Beaten in both those games, the Kings will be desperate to salvage something from the final match of their Australian tour.
“We need to firmly fix up our defensive qualities, which at the moment are not where they should be,” Gibson said.