The NSW Waratahs are refusing to treat Super Rugby Pacific newcomers Fijian Drua lightly, well aware of the exciting talent they possess.
The Waratahs will host the newcomers at CommBank Stadium on February 18 in what will now be the opening game of Super Rugby Pacific
Whilst Drua coach Mick Byrne has looked to temper expectations in their first season, the Waratahs were refusing to buy into that with memories of their 2018 National Rugby Championship triumphs still fresh in the mind of those that faced the 'exciting' Drua.
“I remember going over to Fiji a couple of years ago and at half-time we were right in the game,” Waratahs assistant coach Chris Whitaker recalled, who was coach of the Sydney NRC team at the time.
“Then the game opened up and that’s when they came and played their best footy and I think they put another three or four tries on us quite easily straight away.
"They live for it, they're freak athletes. They're not short on recruiting some talent, that's for sure. You just have to look at that Rebels game, whether they're starting the game or finishing the game, they've all got natural ability and once they start to click, they'll be a dangerous team."
As the Waratahs look to carry their flawless trial form over into Super Rugby Pacific, they know they must avoid playing into the Drua's strengths and being dragged into a free-flowing style of play.
“They can create something from nothing. Against the Rebels, they scored two or three tries either from turnovers or a freaky offload,” Whittaker added.
“So on both sides of the ball we’ve got to be really disciplined and stick to what we’re doing best.
"Our biggest danger is turning it into like a Fijian style game. I think that’s what they want, a high passing team that wants us to play that style but the real trick is being disciplined.”
The NSW-based side will be sweating on the fitness of centre Lalakai Foketi, who came off during last week's trial with the Reds with a tight hamstring.
They will name their team on Wednesday, with the returning Will Harrison, Wales legend Jamie Roberts and Junior Wallaby Nick Chan potential replacements for the Wallaby.