Waratahs want fourth win with Super finals in sight

·2-min read
James Gourley/AAP PHOTOS

The NSW Waratahs will have to break new ground under coach Darren Coleman to secure a Super Rugby Pacific finals berth when they host Fijian Drua.

The last time the Waratahs strung four wins together was in 2018, well before Coleman came on board as coach for the 2022 season.

Sixth on the ladder, they can lock down a top eight spot with two rounds remaining if they trump the ninth-placed Drua, who they have thrashed in their previous three clashes.

It's a dramatic revival for the Sydneysider after only winning one of their first six matches, with that victory coming against the Drua.

Skipper Jake Gordon has been key to their resurgence with the halfback's improved form reflected in their recent results.

Gordon was omitted from Eddie Jones's first Wallabies training squad with the coach telling him he played better when he was "aggressive".

"I had a brief conversation with Eddie when they named that squad and he gave me a few pointers - the main was that when I'm aggressive I play better," Gordon said.

"I was pretty disappointed with the first four rounds - as a team we didn't play well and I wasn't playing well.

"I've been happy with my performances ... not to sound arrogant but I'm liking the way it's trending but I've still got work to do."

The 29-year-old felt the Waratahs didn't deal early on with heavy expectation on their prospects, with injuries also contributing to their poor form.

With the Drua just one point behind the eighth-placed Western Force, they will also be desperate for maximum points.

Gordon said the Fijians' wins over top-four side, the Crusaders and Hurricanes, showed what a threat they could be.

"They've had some great results this year especially against some dangerous Kiwi sides," he said.

"What we know is that one to 15 they've got the ability to offload and get in behind your defence so we need to be controlled around how we play and the set piece is going to be massive for us.

"It's about limiting the amount of opportunities we give them through loose possession."