Rugby-Waratahs need ‘full game’ to beat Chiefs, says Lion Roberts

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Jamie Roberts is eager to lock horns with former manager Warren Gatland next weekend but believes the New South Wales Waratahs will need to produce a full performance to overtake the Waikato Chiefs in the Super Rugby qualifiers. Roberts has played under Chiefs Gatland director of rugby throughout his career in Wales and for the British and Irish Lions, but the pair will be on opposite sides when the Waratahs travel to Hamilton on Saturday to try to earn a place in the semis -final.

“I love playing against your former manager, I’ve been lucky enough to do that a few times in my career and you always want to prove a point,” the Waratahs center told reporters on Monday. “Warren has been a huge influence on my Testing career so I’m very happy to be going to Hamilton, it’s a great place to play rugby.”

Roberts, who moved to Sydney on a one-year contract this season, said he was not surprised the Waratahs managed to qualify for the playoffs despite not winning a game last season. “It took me a week here to feel the vibe of the place and I’ve always been very impressed with the set up here,” added the 35-year-old.

“It’s kind of a high challenge, very motivating environment and when you put such an environment in place, it’s no surprise the growth we’ve seen in the team this year.” The improvement was such that the Waratahs picked up three wins against New Zealand-based sides, although their heaviest loss came amid a flurry of yellow cards against the Chiefs.

Roberts, who has played more than his fair share of big games in a career in which he won 94 Test caps for Wales and three for the Lions, said he believes the Waratahs could win on Saturday if they manage to play their best rugby. “A lot of teams go into these games and overthink it, a lot of these games come down to the basics,” he said.

“They come down to set pieces, breaking down decisions and just being smart. I think we’ve put together part of the puzzle this season in attack and (in defense) we’ve shown some very, very good things. But now I hope we do a full performance because only a full performance will win in Hamilton this week.”

(This story has not been edited by the Devdiscourse team and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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