What a sight it was: that of Waratahs lock Will Skelton and his 203-centimetre frame and 135 kilograms running direct and hard with the ball or in dogged defence in NSW's 43-21 win over the Force in Sydney on Sunday.

Add to that the image of the Wycliff Palu, Paddy Ryan and Benn Robinson - at 116kg, 117kg and 112kg respectively - unleashing the same bruising play.

Sure, other forwards were in the fray. And there was a lot more to the Waratahs' win than the pack's imprint on the game. But if the impact of the Waratahs human battering rams was anything to go by, then so long as they can remain injury-free, fit and in form, they will carry plenty of say in the how the Waratahs finish.

Notwithstanding the fancy footwork and speed of fullback Israel Folau and rookie winger Alofa Alofa, it was the big men in the middle with their incessant, barging runs who did much to set up the Waratahs for the 22-11 half-time lead as they drew in Force defenders and created space out wide.

The metres they gained so early in the game, and with possession that amounted to 61 per cent by the 20th minute, kept the Force on the back foot.

But their position could have reaped far greater reward were it not for some poor passing and dropped ball, and some gifted penalties through questionable discipline. ''Go-forward is always an important thing to have in rugby,'' coach Michael Cheika said.

''When they do run powerfully and get themselves over the gain line - that is what we have talked about - trying to get a foundation laid and get on the front foot.

''We still made too many handling errors in the first half. Because we pass the ball a lot, mathematically you are going to have more turnovers than most team.''

It was inevitable that, considering the intensity of pace that Palu, Ryan and Robinson ran at the Force, that their V8 engines - no doubt primed by countless runs up the steep Coogee steps in the off-season - would be run dry come the second half; especially considering the added toil of their bread-and-butter work at set-piece and in the breakdown and all in the heat and humidity of a sunny Sunday afternoon.

But with a Waratahs bench that included South African second rower Jacques Potgieter (115kg), who replaced Skelton at the 53rd minute, and prop Sekope Kepu (118kg), who came on for Palu after Ryan was yellow-carded at the 42nd minute, and hooker Tolu Latu, who took over from the ever formidable Tatafu Polota-Nau, there was plenty of might and power to put steam back into the Waratahs game up front.

While the big men failed to score a try in the first half, it was fitting reward after that another of NSW's big men, second-rower Kane Douglas, who cored their fourth try at the 56th minute that had NSW extend to a 29-14 lead after Bernard Foley's conversion.

True, Douglas, a giant in set play and the NSW lineout, did benefit somewhat from the opportunity of being out on the wing when winger Peter Betham passed to him.

But on a NSW scoreline that showed tries by two of the razzle-dazzle men of the team in Alofa and Folau, a forward's try in some shape and form was a popular outcome. In a team like the Waratahs whose back line can be - and on Sunday proved to be - so dangerous in attack and has declared its intent to play a running and fast game, there the forward pack must be as fit as they are strong - if only to keep up with the game.

Cheika speaks of the need for physicality. But the selfless game is also vital, and big men like Skelton, Palu, Ryan et al showed both .

They must also be willing to not think of themselves and getting as much time as they can, but to run themselves into the ground, knowing that when they do, on the bench there are stocks waiting and willing to maintain the rage.