Queensland flanker Liam Gill says the Reds will be hoping for an open, attacking game against NSW this weekend despite the Israel Folau threat.
Unfazed by the Israel Folau factor, Queensland flanker Liam Gill says the confident Reds hope both teams stick to attacking game plans when they play the NSW Waratahs on Saturday night.
Gill admitted on Tuesday the Reds were nervous when they saw their Super Rugby season began with away games against major Australian conference rivals the Brumbies and Waratahs.
But he said that had changed following their season-opening 27-17 win over the Brumbies and they were confident – despite Folau’s hat-trick heroics for the Waratahs in their 43-21 triumph over Western Force.
Reds stars Quade Cooper and Will Genia acknowledged it would be almost impossible to keep code-hopping Wallaby teammate Folau quiet in Saturday’s clash at ANZ Stadium.
And Gill said the Waratahs “would be crazy not to” unleash their backline with fullback Folau lurking to inject himself from the back.
But the Reds flanker said Queensland would prefer it that way as they attempt to claim a sixth straight win over the Waratahs.
“It’s almost like a Test match, like a must-win game,” Gill said.
“We would love to see an open game and I think it will once the forwards get tired and the backs throw it around a bit.”
Asked about the Folau threat, Gill said: “We understand where their threats lie. It is nothing we can’t handle.
“It doesn’t faze us.”
In fact, Gill believed Queensland could handle anything NSW threw at them even forced into trench warfare against a Waratahs pack 47kg heavier.
“We showed on the weekend how well we can adapt,” he said.
“If we stick to our strong defence and work out of the trenches we can fight out of a slow game.
“I think they have got a strong line-up, their set piece will be big and that is where they will come at us in the forwards.
“But there’s nothing we can’t handle in this Waratahs pack.
“We go in very confident.”
NSW convert Lachie Turner was looking forward to meeting his former team on their home turf after a strong start for the Reds against the Brumbies.
“He (Turner) settled his nerves on the weekend,” Gill said.
“He had a great game. He put what he has to offer a Queensland jersey out there.
“It will be tough for him to go home but he’s not fazed, more excited.”