Waratahs aren't worried about slow Super Rugby start
The NSW Waratahs aren't pushing the panic button despite their below-par start to the Super Rugby Pacific season after arriving with high expectations.
Prop Harry Johnson-Holmes said while two losses from three games, including their 34-27 defeat by Melbourne last round, wasn't ideal, the mood in the side was still positive.
"For us, there's things we can fix," the 26-year-old said.
"If you just get out-and-out beaten because you're not good enough, then that's worrying, but for us there was a lot of things in our control so we're excited to right those wrongs this weekend."
He said quick ball from the Rebels put pressure on their defensive pattern - which will no doubt be tested by the fourth-ranked Hurricanes in Wellington in round four on Friday night.
Johnson-Holmes felt his side would be well prepared to tackle the Hurricanes after the Waratahs' recent matches against Fijian Drua and Melbourne, a win and a loss respectively.
"If you combine the preparation we had to do for Fiji, to nullify offloads and expect the unexpected, versus the Rebels, who have a good way of playing that they like to stick to ... the Hurricanes are probably a bit of a combination (of both) so I think we're well prepared," he said.
Johnson-Holmes said he was still working his way back to peak form after some "dark days" rehabilitating the ruptured achilles suffered in the Australian training camp last June.
He remains hopeful of forcing his way back into the Wallabies ahead of the World Cup in France later this year.
"It's about building on it - it wasn't an ideal return results wise and personally I've got a lot more that I can offer to the group so I've got to continue to get myself in the shape and condition to contribute to some wins," he said.
NSW had three late withdrawals before the AAMI Park clash in winger Max Jorgensen (shoulder), hooker Dave Porecki (infection) and backrower Ned Hanigan (knee) but they are all expected to be available for the trip to New Zealand.