NSW Waratahs



Its good to get that infernal window out of the way, forget what happened and allow everyone to now focus on the real action. While almost everyone will be watching the top of the table clash in Fiji on Friday, Saturday has a few surprises, especially for those who don’t carefully read the program schedule. The Waratahs play the Sunwolves at 1445 Tokyo time, so don’t tune in at 7:30pm because it will be all over.


Half of them have been holding tackle bags and scragging off for three weeks while the other half have been belted around by the soap-dodgers. Hard to remember that in the last game, a month ago, they thrashed the table-topping Chiefs six tries to four; it was the game of the season and they promptly got knocked out of the eight for their troubles. This game can get them back in the eight if the Reds come to the party.


Their last two games on their Australian road trip have seen them leak 100 points. The are definitely suffering from year one fatigue and the international break should have given some of them a chance to recharge their batteries, which have looked remarkably flat lately.

Photo Credit: Peter Mitchell

Photo Credit: Peter Mitchell



Gibson had the team on a flyer last time out; his task is to resurrect that form from the ashes of the soap-dodgers debacle. If he can resettle the team this week and have them at peak for the Hurricanes next week, all is not lost for the season.

Hammett has done a good job after a shortened start to have the Sunwolves where they are, but they are playing on heart.Their best result was a draw with the Stormers three rounds ago and they have first season exhaustion and injuries now. The selected team has seven of their best players not selected. Its a very hard comp; made all the worse by the ridiculous travel requirements that SA imposed on them.


The Waratahs scrum has gone from the joke of the competition to being finals material. Robertson, Taf and Ryan look strong and should make hay this weekend. The Sunwolves have struggled all year without ever getting completely dished up.


Fresh from towelling up Brodie Retallick a month ago, the Tahs lineout is also on the improve, albeit from a low base. The Sunwolves have a weekly struggle to win their own ball, so this should be good practise for what is coming up.


Here the Waratahs look to have a real advantage. Hooper at 100%, Dave Dennis and Jack Dempsey should have it all over their opponents. Look for Dave Dennis to be best-on-ground as he was against the Chiefs.


Interesting to see how Matt Lucas goes in what is likely to be his only start this season. Off the bench he has brought speed and energy and a good showing this week might silence a few of the knockers.


The Sunwolves have two outstanding backline players – Pisi and Yamada. But they are both missing for this match and the selected players just do not have the offensive spark to match the full-on Waratah backline. Look for Naiyaravoro and Robinson to have a field day following Folau and for Horne to really cut up at inside centre.

Photo courtesy of Keith McInnes

Photo courtesy of Keith McInnes



Hard to see anything but a bonus point win to the Waratahs, despite the window of which we will never again speak. I reckon Waratahs by 40



1. Masataka Mikami
2. Takeshi Kizu
3. Shinnosuke Kakinaga
4. Faatiga Limalu
5. Naohiro Kotaki
6. Liaki Moli
7. Taiyo Ando
8. Ed Quirk
9. Kaito Shigeno
10. Yu Tamura
11. Yasutaka Sasakura
12. Harumichi Tatekawa
13. Derek Carpenter
14. Mifiposetti Paea
15. Riaan Viljoen

16. Futoshi Mori
17. Keita Inagaki
18. Takuma Asahara
19. Yoshiya Hosoda
20. Shokel Kin
21. Yuki Yatomi
22. Ryohei Yamanaka
23. Hajime Yamashita


1. Paddy Ryan
2. Tatafu Polota-Nau
3. Tom Robertson
4. Dean Mumm
5. Will Skelton
6. Jack Dempsey
7. Michael Hooper
8. Dave Dennis
9. Matt Lucas
10. Bernard Foley
11. Taquele Naiyaravoro
12. Rob Horne (100th Super Rugby cap)
13. Israel Folau
14. Reece Robinson
15. Andrew Kellaway

16. Hugh Roach
17. Jeremy Tilse
18. Angus Ta’avao
19. Sam Lousi
20. Wycliff Palu
21. Ned Hanigan
22. Nick Phipps
23. Dave Horwitz, Tolu Latu, Matt Carraro

At the time of writing, the Waratahs had 25 listed players. This is presumably to cover for injuries the Wallaby representatives may be carrying. Although Cliffy Palu is under an injury cloud, he has been listed on the bench. From the make-up of the bench you might suspect it will be a 6:2 split, which would allow some respite for the Wallaby forwards.


Match : Sunwolves vs Waratahs
Date : Saturday, 2 July 2016
Venue : Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium, Tokyo
Kick Off local: 1445 Tokyo time
Referee: Brendon Pickerill (NZ)
Assistant Ref 1: Aki Aso (J)
Assistant Ref 2: Noriaki Hashimoto (J)
TMO: Takashi Hareda (J)

  • Mr Wobbly

    “Harold” Carpenter, isn’t it Derek?

    • Thanks. Copied it from another website.

  • Nutta

    It should be a slaughter. But something tells me it won’t be…

  • Mr Wobbly

    Tomorrow’s weather for Tokyo – 33°, relative humidity peaking at 92%

    Rugby in a sauna!

  • Braveheart81

    Great preview Hawko. I think the kick off time is 2:15pm Tokyo time, 3:15 Sydney time and 3:45pm Adelaide time!

    • Fox reports it as 3:15 pm AET; but that is 2:45pm Adelaide time. We are half an hour plus a decade behind Sydney.

      • Braveheart81

        Woops! Right you are. The moral of the story is check the start time and go the Tahs!

  • Spank

    SEnsational performance from the Warathas. Silky skills and great support play. More akin to watching the All Blacks play which perhaps reflects the influence of Darryl Gibson. Great job. Of course we wait and see now how next weekend goes. Hail the Tah’s scrum, Matt Lucas* superb, Recce Robinson likewise. Falou – one of his best. Love the impact of Mr. T. Shows what a BIG winger can do and should do close to the line.
    * Had Lucas not been injured unfortunately (hope he is OK) I hoped he would be given the whole game. Might be the sort of half we need at the National Level if he keeps going like this. He has served a long apprenticeship.

NSW Waratahs

Grew up watching Catchpole and Hawthorne, then later the Ella brothers, on Channel Two on Saturday afternoon. Expert commentary by Cyril Towers. No better rugby education ever to be had.

More in NSW Waratahs