Waratahs' call to fans for finals charge

The Waratahs belted the Sunwolves by 52 points in their Super Rugby Round 18 match

Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson is calling on NSW rugby fans to turn out in droves to ride his team's fast-gathering momentum for a Super Rugby title charge.

Hot off a franchise-record 12-try, 77-25 blitz of the Sunwolves, the Waratahs have clinched the Australian conference and will be guaranteed second spot if they can beat the Brumbies at home on Saturday night during a fascinating final round.

They would then be assured of home advantage for the quarter-finals and semi-finals and only have to travel again if they meet the table-topping Crusaders in the final.

"We really look forward to what's going to be an exciting period," said Gibson as his team eyes a second Super Rugby title in four years.

"I'm really hoping that the public get swinging behind this team because I think they deserve it."

A season-best crowd of 18,059 braved Saturday night's cold, gusty conditions to witness a slick Tahs performance as they annihilated the Sunwolves; they ran in eight second-half tries after the visitors were reduced to 14 men after what appeared a tough red card to winger Semesi Masirewa.

Meanwhile, the Melbourne Rebels are relieved that their bumbling 37-23 loss to the lowly-ranked Queensland Reds on Friday wasn't as costly as it might have been, with other teams scrapping for the places in the eight-team finals also losing.

In eighth spot, they still have their destiny in their own hands but face a huge assignment to beat the sixth-placed Highlanders in Dunedin on Saturday to ensure they play finals for the first time.

Having found form late in the season, the Brumbies' thrilling 24-19 loss to New Zealand's highly-flying Chiefs leaves them in 10th spot and only a faint chance of finals if all goes their way, including a bonus point win over the Tahs.

"They are playing some brilliant footy as well, so its going to be a hell of a contest," Gibson said of his team's next opponents.

New Zealand are set to dominate Super Rugby finals representation once again with four of the eight teams - the Crusaders, Hurricanes and Chiefs are the top three teams on points and the Highlanders are sixth.

Argentina's Jaguares missed an opportunity to pass the Lions and go top of the South African conference after a 43-34 away loss to the Bulls and they sit seventh on 38 points points, ahead of the Rebels on 35.

The Durban-based Sharks are ninth on 32 points after a costly upset 27-16 loss to the Stormers in Cape Town and they host the Jaguares in the final round.