Waratahs wary of Highlanders' 'organised chaos'

Waratahs forward Ned Hanigan. Photo: Getty
Waratahs forward Ned Hanigan. Photo: Getty
He's causing havoc as Israel Folau's aerial accomplice but Waratahs forward Ned Hanigan is wary of the Highlanders' "organised chaos" style heading into their Super Rugby quarter-final.

Fullback Folau is an established aerial threat and Wallabies flanker Hanigan has also developed into a nuisance for opposing sides from restarts.

He worked on contesting kick-offs with Wallabies skills coach Michael Byrne and has continued that with the Waratahs, enjoying significant success in that area against the Brumbies last weekend.

"Obviously we've got Israel, who is the best in the world in the air in what he does, just having another option there keeps them guessing," Hanigan said.

"On the weekend, the Brumbies sort of, not left it open, but it was just an easier catch (for me) than what Israel probably had to deal with.

"He had two pods jamming up on him which is also a hell of a good thing.

"Because you've got a bloke like that so other teams change for him, which leaves the other things a little more accessible."

Folau said Hanigan was great in the air and appreciated the fact opposing teams had someone else to worry about in that area.

"He's been working on that post-training and it's good to see that pay off. It's another great option for us with the restarts," Folau said.

Hanigan missed the Waratahs' win over the Highlanders earlier in the season, but was well aware of the threats the Kiwi team posed.

"They are very good at reacting to things that their backfield create, forwards included," he said.

"They move the ball around and I think they will probably look to have us moving about a fair bit and organised chaos is their their game and they are good at it."

Hanigan admitted it wasn't an easy style to counter.

"It is hard, because they are creating situations that are a little bit unorthodox particularly from set piece," Hanigan said.

"I guess we've just got to be really good in our transition speed especially, making sure that attack to defence, back to attack, is just really fast.

"So blokes are really reactive and it comes down to just picking the right options at the right time."

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