Review: Waratahs v Lions - Green and Gold Rugby
NSW Waratahs

Review: Waratahs v Lions

Review: Waratahs v Lions

Are the Waratahs a real threat to overseas teams this year? Are the Lions too inconsistent away from home? We were about to find out tonight.

Alex Newsome leaves it behind.

Alex Newsome leaves it behind.


The first half was full of action with the Waratahs on top for the first twenty, but just unable to make that decisive break. Malcolm Marx was the outstanding forward, making several turnovers and one almost-try. Then around 20 minutes in the Lions made the only score of the half. They pick-and-drove just over half way, chip-kicked to centre-field and the result was a try to Tambwe, who was dangerous every time he got near the ball. Converted by Jantjes for 7-0.

The rest of the half was a series of almost scores for the Waratahs, each time a little skill error just as they were through meant the Lions held them out. Naiyaravoro this week was double and triple teamed and looked distinctly underwhelming. The Lions’ scramble defence was very impressive; half breaks were contained and every Lions player showed desperation to get to the man and shut down the attack. On the balance of play the Waratahs probably had the better, but just didn’t finish and went in to oranges seven points behind.


After half time the Lions were full of vim and the Waratahs looked jaded.The Lions kicked a penalty to touch for a 5-metre lineout and Kwagga Smith scored from a half-maul. The Waratahs only pushed one side and Smith went through from the other. Lions 12-0 Then Vorster went over after some great Lions pressure. Jantjes converted for 19-0 and the game looked over.

From here on in the Waratahs set piece (scrum and lineout) fell to pieces. They were losing both and the breakdown was a complete Lions domination. At 50 minutes, Gibson went to the bench but nothing much changed. Marx made another turnover with the Waratahs hot on attack in the Lions 22.

At 60, the Lions went to the bench and the finishers did just that. Even with Marx and Smith given a rest, the two best players on the field, there was no let up. At around 70 minutes the Lions took a shot at goal, their first shot of the match, and the score was out to 22-0. Schoeman scored a converted try on his debut to finish it off and the game ended at 80 with a bit of a brawl and a final scoreline of 29-0. You are reading that correctly. In 80 minutes the Waratahs didn’t score a point!

Madosh Tambwe runs it under the posts.

Madosh Tambwe runs it under the posts.


No, the Waratahs on tonight’s display are no threat to the good overseas teams.

There was no lack of consistency on the Lions behalf tonight.


They looked good and got a very valuable bonus point. Not without fault but they covered up really well. On tonight’s performance they will give the Reds a touch-up next week, but I didn’t see enough tonight to think they’ll do the Hurricanes or the Highlanders. They will however, be very competitive. Marx, Smith and Tambwe, along with Whiteley are their stars and they’ll go close to making the final again.


Big reality check. Some thought they might have made some substantial improvements this year and I know last year was awful, but they are still not competitive with the top five teams. They were out-gunned at the breakdown, massively so, and the backs found out what happens when the other side makes their tackles and deprives them of space. They lost the set pieces and desperately need the bye to regroup and find some answers before the Kiwi blitzkreig starts. On tonight’s form they’ll even lose to the Blues, and that takes some doing.

Curtis Rona

Curtis Rona

The Game Changer

Kwagga Smith’s try off the back of the maul signalled the end of the Waratahs’ chances tonight.


Two players on the field were absolutely outstanding: Kwagga Smith and Malcolm Marx. Both deserve the gong, give it to Smith in a photo.

Wallaby watch

Taqele Naiyaravoro played himself out of the Wallabies. Not one Wallaby-eligible player did their chances any good at all tonight.

The Details

Crowd: Not known. You can bet the crowd in two week’s time will be smaller.

Score & Scorers

Waratahs 0. When was the last time the Waratahs couldn’t even score a point?

Lions 29 
Tries: Tambwe, Smith, Vorster, Schoeman
Conversions: Jantjes (3)
Penalties: Jantjes (1)


  • IIPA

    What a dispiriting, shambolic performance. First half all action no polish. Second half best forgotten with a few more beers.

    Forwards outplayed, backs ran out of ideas after looking sharp early.

    I’d Iike to think this was an aberration of a performance but I’m not so sure more pantsings aren’t around the corner.

    • Mica

      I’m sure.

  • Adrian

    Excellent summary.

    Agree mostly.

    I’ll hang all my hopes on the first 20.

    Overused Nayavoro, and he will bounce back, to speak.

    I’d start Latu and Holloway. Firz, Miller to bench. Staniforth out.

    Still a smallish scrum, but not so small.

    Handling will return, as will Izzy.

    Buggers my tipping record though!

    • Hoss

      Yes, having invested in your tips Mr Adrian the kids and i will enjoy water and oxygen sandwiches this week.

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        Gibson clearly adheres to Cheika’s mantra of small guys and work-rate is of the utmost importance, regardless of how ineffective the work-rate may be.

        That has to be why guys like Latu aren’t getting a run.

      • Adrian

        Food voucher in the mail..

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Hey Adrian. Ever the glass half full mate. Good on you. I thought they played well in the first 20 but a bit concerned the tactic seemed to be “go wide and the watch the wingers score” then no other plan when that didn’t work. I thought Staniforth was good and Tom Robinson played well but as mentioned they got owned in the forwards.
      Not going to get easier from now either

  • mikado

    Urgh – horrible. I had that as a Waratahs win.

  • Will

    My missus and I decided a lovely end to the week we’d buy some new waratahs kit and get some tickets to the match – ugh – it was aweful!

    You could tell the lads were really trying but nothing seemed to work. Just up against a better team. A lot of youngsters in this Tah team. Aussie conference leaders makes the rest of the season for Aus teams look pretty grim…..

    • Nutta

      You just won’t learn will you?

      • Mica

        Hey it’s Aus rugby. Part of the supporter brief is to be an eternal optimist.

    • Hope you’ve still got the receipt for the kit

  • Jamie Miller

    I have supported the Tahs since the early 90s, and that was just awful. Even by the standards of some of the crap we’ve seen in the past, this entire set-up is so directionless and hopeless.

    It’s hard to believe the coach hasn’t gotten the sack yet. Every aspect of this performance was awful. The one-on-one tackling, the defensive system, the work under the high ball, the accuracy at the breakdown, the scrum, the lineout, the handling, the creativity, the handling, the game management, the ball control in contact, the ref management, the physicality… it was *all* awful.

    More to the point, there’s nothing to suggest this enterprise, the Gibson Tahs, is going to get better. If this was a company, you’d wind it down and sell off the assets. True, there’s been the odd good quarter here and there over the last three years. But overall results have been distinctly unimpressive. Nobody with half a brain would buy this stock. And that’s not even to talk about recruitment and the fact that there are individual players out there who, as clear as night follows day, are never going to be at the right standard. It just isn’t going to happen.

    It’s a total shermozzle. The only people who deserve any real credit are Michael Hooper and the long-suffering fans.

    • Richard Patterson

      All very valid points Jamie. You seem surprised though? For 20 of their 22 years, haven’t the Waratahs largely been a shermozzle as an Australian professional sporting franchise?

      Don’t the Waratahs largely epitomize an organization with no real standards and little adherence to excellence? Haven’t they always been a squad containing players who are not especially good, and players who are not as good as they think they are? Haven’t they consistently demonstrated a lack of work ethic and and a desire for sound on-field intelligence to offset a lack of core, fundamental skills? Aren’t they staked with guys feeling little competitive pressure to retain their place in the only professional rugby franchise in their preferred city?

      Sure, go run Daryl Gibson out of town. The guy never deserved the bloody job in the first place. Replace him with who though? Simon Cron? Yeah well prematurely appointing Brad Thorn in Queensland is going swimmingly isn’t it? Setting Cron up in the same manner going to go any different? OK – go hire a really proven professional coach from overseas. Who? Who would want to put their name to that motley playing group, that culture of self-entitlement and mediocrity and that organization you correctly label dysfunctional? The only coach who got results was bully boy Cheika who took a stick to them. He did not make them a better team or organization. He is mirroring the same performance with the Wallabies isn’t he?

      To be successful there has to be a thorough top to bottom strategic turnaround at the Waratahs. See it coming? Too many are too comfortable. Too few have the intelligence or the desire. No-one will re-set the necessary standards. They will hope lightning can get caught in a bottle again like in 2014. See it happening? I don’t.

    • Richard Patterson

      You seem surprised Jamie. You seem of the view that something you very aptly label a shermozzle should somehow be something clever, well functioning and successful.
      You can proceed to fire Daryl Gibson — some would say he was never qualified for the job in the first place. Who replaces him? Simon Cron? What – and then watch Cron go down the same steep learning path Brad Thorn is suffering up in Queensland after also being presented the Head Coaching role well before he was ready for it?

      Of course the Waratahs could also mimic the Queensland strategy and embark on a worldwide search for new Head Coach. Who? What current Head Coach of any calibre would risk his reputation going anywhere near a place so deep in a culture of player entitlement, so lacking in standards and excellence and so unwilling to peel the layers back and fix what is 20 years of consistent underachievement? There is only one person who can fix the Waratahs and that is Michael Cheika. Even then, I am far from confident Version II would be better than Version I. His coaching record tends to illustrate that.

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        The Waratahs also don’t have the same calibre of young players coming through that the Reds do.

        What will the Tahs do after 2019 when I suspect a lot of Beale, Foley, Kepu, Folau, Simmons won’t be there?

        Paenga-Amosa vs Latu
        Tupou vs Robertson
        Timu vs (perennially injured) Dempsey
        Rodda vs Staniforth
        Tui vs Hanigan
        Wright vs Miller
        Paia’aua vs Simone
        Perese vs Foketi
        Kerevi vs Rona

        I’m not sure if there is a single one of those Waratahs I would pick over the Reds guy.

        • Gun

          Probably optimistic to think there’ll be a comp in 2019. I guess there will still be a year to go n the current deal.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I think that there will still be a comp of some description. If I had to guess I think that it will still have all of Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, but there will be at least something afterwards even if South Africa go north.

    • John Miller

      It’s consistantly amazing how Hooper’s positive contributions (no matter how big or almost imperceptibly small), elicit endless embellishment when his deficiencies come with their own invisibility cloak.

      Kwagga Smith put on an openside flanking masterclass last night. And Hooper got schooled. Between Smith and Marx, the Lions absolutely owned the breakdown. They forced 6 direct turnovers at the ruck (so much for the absolutely non-existent effects of the new breakdown laws) and forced a number of other ruck penalties from the Tahs with their completely dominant ground game (several of those infringements from a patently outclassed Hooper).

      Hooper, by comparison, made a simply woeful tackle attempt and was brushed aside easily by Kwagga Smith on his way to the stripe and later, fell for a basic dummy (failing to take the man with the ball), allowing Schoeman to stroll through to the Tahs tryline untouched. Fox commentators: silence, tumbleweed.

      Hooper’s defence and discipline continue to be ingoing issues. He – again – leads the competition for ineffective tackles this year and, aside from his try leaking misreads during the match, was easily bumped off one-on-one by the Lions centre, Vorster (similar to the way he was by the 10+ kg lighter Perese last week), incurred breakdown penalties for entering from the side and hands in the ruck (the latter which drew a referee warning with the potential for yet another yellow), and Hooper’s 60th minute cleanout attempt on Marx would have legitimately been funny if it wasn’t so scarily ineffective by the Wallabies incumbent openside flanker.

      But this week again, we’ll hear nothing but “Hooper had a great game”, “strong impact”, “only one to hold his head up”, Paul Cully will find a way to get him into SMH’s Australian team of the week and one of the many cheerleaders across at the “other” rugby site will pen an “analysis” of how Hooper actually outplayed everyone else this round with evidence based upon video of only three highlight reel plays, made-up rugby stats draw from the English Premiership and some loosely related anecdote involving Einstein’s Theory of Relativity highlighting how under-appreciated actually Hooper is.

      Luckily the independent panel of Wallabies selectors aren’t so easily fooled. Oh, wait…

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        I can’t wait to hear Hugh and Matt praise Foley, Beale and Hooper on the podcast, and bash Simmons.

        • Pedro

          That’s bait.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I don’t think they read the comments on this, but if they did then quite so, it would be.

        • Custard Taht

          No….that is modern journalism!

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        I said weeks ago that I didn’t think Beale should be in the centres for the Wallabies, his defence just isn’t good enough. Oh how I wish he was getting to play fullback at Super Rugby level, so that we could see how he has developed under the high ball (as he is most dangerous in space anyway).

        Guys like Beale and Foley can be good for a few weeks in a row, but their issues are always going to come home to roost longterm in internationals. I’d rather go for a more solid but less of an x-factor player at 12 for the Wallabies, and may even prefer that if I was a Waratah.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Absolutely. I’m not sure why the 2nd playmaker thing is such an issue. NZ has good playmaker at 10. The 12’s role is more to straighten the play, crash it up for a quick reset, be the best tackler to disrupt the opposition moves and to distribute to the 13 or other wing or 15 coming inside.

        • Mica

          So who in Aus Rugby fits this bill? Kerevi? Hodge? Beale? Lilo? Godwin? Meakes? Duncan P?

          Personally I like the second playmaker as long as they can tackle, present a running threat and can kick. It was always Giteaus best position.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Did Giteau ever really play well when he wasn’t outside of Larkham and inside of Mortlock though? I am not being facetious, but I just can’t think of many occasions where he performed other than then.

          He never really worked at flyhalf, and when he moved back to inside centre outside of Cooper in 2010 it didn’t really work either.

          The problem with the two playmakers is that they have to move sideways as they rarely threaten to break the line or straighten the attack.

          Hodge and Kerevi look the best to me. Big guys who can bend the line and who can also pass. Hodge looks a bit like a raw Jean de Villiers to me. Lanky frame but a lot of strength, can tackle, pass and kick.

      • fatman

        And the scary thing is he will still be the Wallabies captain, pretty sad state of affairs especially considering I don’t think he has a grasp of the laws of the game, some of his conversations with the ref are embarrassing.

      • ForceFan

        You didn’t have to wait for Paul Cully.

        Beth did it for you in the SR Aussie TOTW on

  • onlinesideline

    lol – we have been going on about taking it to the kiwis
    errhhh – include Saffas in there too

    It was the size of the holes and ease the Saffas went through those holes which was the major worry (no this is not rugby porn)

    As the Honey Badger used to say
    “like the kid who fell out of the tree – just never in it”

    We wont be in the Super finals
    We will schooled by the Irish who will be all over us at breakdown and out enthuse us
    We will be 3rd or 4th in 4N after getting ass kicked by Ireland
    And we will spanked in EOYT in a long and tiring year

    Have a nice day ……

  • BF

    What was the description: “massively outgunned at the breakdown”.
    And people still think hooper is the answer for the wallabies!

    Pocock has to be #7.

    • Gipetto

      Marx may be the best rugby player in the world

      • Nutta

        Dunno if I would go that far yet but he is bloody impressive

    • McWarren

      Not going happen buddy. Paul, Georgina and all the crew at the SMH have been hard at work this week ensuring we will all have to endure the Pooper until after the RWC.

      • fatman

        Hooper was shown a masterclass by Kwagga Smith at the breakdown

  • Gun

    You may as well write Aus rugby’s obituary now. There is clearly not enough, well directed, resources. Not enough athletic, skilled players. The coaching is not up to standard. The game is administered, coached and played by Kiwi expats who love the ABs but don’t like their home, private school lads or didn’t make it in mungo wannabes and islanders searching for a better life.
    On the evidence of the last 10 years, crowd numbers and the abject display of the most resourced franchise in Oz last night, I think we are done.
    Gibson clearly no idea, players not skilled, fit or athletic. Simmons has been tried, tested and found wanting. Hooper not an open side (but a good rugby player), neither half back good enough, Foley adequate but nowhere near good in super rugby terms, Beale a misdirected turnstyle etc etc.
    Lucky I’m old because I’m not going to have much to watch on telly for the next 20 years.

    • Gipetto

      Simmons’ side of the scrum stayed square. Johannes Ackermann is a great selector and coach and Swys seems to be keeping up the standard. The Lions are a good chance of winning the championship if the refereeing is even handed.

      • Gun

        That’s good. How was his passing, linking, tackling, driving? Also, that was a clear sign the coach has lost the team. They stopped playing in the second half.

        • Adrian

          Na, he didn’t loose them, they were just thinking of the double decaf late’s they’d be having with Sydney Sixers like me after the game,…and forgot about the game

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Gold mate

        • Gun

          Lose I think it is cobber. Seems you have a touch of Stockholm syndrome!

        • Adrian

          Thanks Gun
          I blame the predictive text thing for loose!
          Originally they put it as Sydney Sixers, not slickers.
          Sydney would never support a tough gritty never give up team, because we are used to watching/doing flashy things. Cafe society over white bread (and dripping) any day

        • Gun


  • onlinesideline

    Just a thought – but if you look at most of the guys that come through the Waratahs academy would it be fair to say that they come from a socio-economic demographic containing a higher than average amount of white collar professionals (Dads, brothers, mates) And that if rugby doesnt work out long term for these blokes there is always the backup of pursuing a similar white collar profession built on the back of a higher than average education attained through the GPS schools – all this translating into rugby NOT being life or death for these blokes and hence lacking the edge other blokes who may not have acquired the educational foundation for second options ?


    • Hoss

      Translation = ‘no mongrel’

      • Mica

        Or wrong mongrel. I.e hissy fit and want to start a fight or take a cheap shot, rather than hitting a ruck hard and effectively or smashing through the line or belting someone legally in a tackle or working your arse off to make that covering tackle.

    • Nutta

      A fellow saboteur and agitator?

      How DARE you question the Blue-blooded elitism that has delivered us such rugby Gold since… well… wait… oh…Shit.

      Hang on, you stop this or I’ll ring my Daddy. He’s at some Royal banking convention thingy…

    • IIPA

      I detect a little bit of smoke…. I mean hasn’t this almost always been the case with Australian rugby ?

      • ForceFan

        Certainly not the case in the West – which makes the axing of the Western Force even harder to accept!!.
        The new player group is shaping up really well for the first game against Fiji – most likely with the modified rules in place – on 4 May.
        How’s that “shrinking to greatness” going Rugby Australia?

        • Gun

          Much as I wish it well, It’s probably a tad early to be gloating about the success of WSR.

        • ForceFan

          Not gloating.
          Just stating the facts.

        • John Miller

          Love the date: “May the Force”.

    • Richard Patterson

      I believe the damage was done the day Australian Rugby believed they had the player and coaching resources for more than 3 professional franchises. Until that point, there was genuine competition for places. Standards were set for skill levels, conditioning, as well as the development and execution of game plans. To make it you had to hit on all those metrics otherwise you were not selected by any of the 3 franchises and were playing amateur club rugby somewhere.

      The arrival of the Force and Rebels lowered those standards. Suddenly it became much easier to be a professional player, coach or administrator. Sure you wanted to be based in Sydney or Brisbane where you originated from — but hey there was always the semi competitive Brumbies or worst case, the new boys of the Force out in WA or the Rebels down in Melbourne. There was typically a job somewhere. From there you could get noticed and then go chase some cash in Japan or Europe. You were a self-employed contractor, not part of an organisation with a history of success, of excellence. There were no benchmarks set to be followed by teams of the future. There were no legacies to maintain. Just front up, mail it in and get paid.

      Now look at the results. Really good players got fed up and left. Weak performers bounced around before high-tailing it overseas. Lots though hung around. Never improved, never really tried to improve. I mean no-one else was right? No-one was in your face demanding it. No-one was setting you challenging performance targets or presenting complex game plans to decipher, practice during the week and then execute on Saturday’s. Now those lowered standards are the benchmark. Last night’s result was another indication at how uncompetitive Australian Rugby has allowed itself to become. Greed was at the forefront of all this and greed has cooked the whole sport. It is a tragedy.

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        The Brumbies weren’t semi-competitive the day that the Force was born. It was just after the Brumbies’ golden era ended, and at that point no one knew how far down we would spiral, or for so long.

        • Richard Patterson

          Perhaps you are right. Sadly though, the belief that expansion would lead to sustainable success was badly flawed.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Yes. People are more inspired by 5 good quality matches than 15 insipid ones.

          It’s a balancing act, and maybe four teams was sustainable—when you think about it the Wallabies were the second or third best for most of the 06-12 period.

          The very good Reds team of 2010-13, Brumbies of 2012-15 and Waratahs of 2014-15 were basically inheriting that final group that developed during the four team period.

          The post 2015 RWC cycle was the first time that we really felt the impact of the expansion to five teams. That’s why I think it was the premature expansion to 5, as opposed to 4, that was the killer for Aussie rugby.

        • onlinesideline

          maybe a mute point or maybe confirms what Richard is suggesting but the last time we really dominated international rugby for an extended period of time ie 1999 – 2003 was when we had 3 teams. Since then we have basically won the odd important game here or there, at best.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Yeah, but we had three teams from 03-05 when things really started to spiral downwards.

          We were hit with the double whammy – as the Wallabies declined the All Blacks from 07-11 embarked on the process of becoming probably the best team of all time, which they maintained from 2011-15.

          I think the correct number of teams is either three or four. I could probably be convinced either way.

      • McWarren

        Richard for me things have spiralled because we refuse to pick any of our teams on form. The successful Reds and Tah teams of 11 and 14 apart, our super and Wallaby teams are filled with unmovable incumbents. I was never a really good player but I can recognise talent. And we have oodles of talent in this country we are just too scared or too blinkered to give blokes a run. Blokes who weren’t schoolboy wonders or who weren’t in U21’s for 3 yrs running, blokes who have developed in club land after school days. I just flew back into the country this arvo, on the way home my boys made me pull in and watch a game at West’s Bulldogs against Norths. Playing outside DP for Norths today was a guy who’s name escapes me, Connor someone. But he was fantastic, he out shone DP who played well. Or the young West’s replacement hooker who I’ve watched few times now. Club land is chock full of talent. What we should have done when we expanded was use foreign talent scouts to scour our clubs, not encumbered by club politics, state rivalries or old school ties, for our actual best players. I’d wager our super teams and the Wallabies would look very different if the selectors didn’t know names, clubs or schools.

    • Adrian

      Totally on the money online.

      Football isn’t the only thing in life for both the players and the spectators,… generally speaking

  • Jack

    oh my…

  • Brumby Runner

    Hawko, good job with the write up. I did think, though, that the Lions left as many butchered tries out there as the Tahs did. Marx is a monster, but his hands let him down on a number of occasions last night. So, Smith as MOTM spot on.

  • Hoss
  • Fatflanker

    After the first 20 minutes I thought the dam was about to break and Tahs were going to win by a landslide. By the end of it, hard to believe they weren’t deliberately throwing the game. How many dropped balls with the try line begging did they manage? Lions were spraying adhesive on their hands – Waratahs must have been using olive oil. Just terrible ball security from Naiyaravoro.

  • Custard Taht

    Well the Tahs were just a shitfight, playing a shitfight, playing a shitfight……

    1. It appears the Tahs got the memo from Gray this week, and duly climbed aboard the national alignment of pure mediocrity.

    2. Gibson’s time at the Tahs has run its course, he is not the man to develop the team further.

    3. The reds carpark is full of talent loitering with intent, the Tahs should look there for the next coach.

    4. In the unlikely event of not finding a coach in reds carpark, the Tahs should approach foxsports. They should offer fox a 6 episode reality series called Search for the Tahs next coach.

    5. Whilst at it, they should cull some player deadwood and run a spin off reality series called, Tahs have got Talent.

    • Brisneyland Local

      Pure Gold!

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Very good mate

    • Bernie Chan

      Steal an idea from aerial ping pong….some kind of talent show…”The next TAHs Star”. The Reds carpark belongs to our bumbling QRU…the NSWRU can find their own cesspit. But of concern to all…if our top Oz side is getting touched up, what does it say for our Wallas, since so many of the blue side are incumbent Wallabies. Hope the Reds win the up front battle, as our backs lack direction whereas the Chiefs are deadly running the ball.

  • Brisneyland Local

    Morning GAGR’s, back from the gym scoffing bacon and eggies with smoked salmon. Yummy. Watched the game replay whilst scoffing. Well well well (three holes in the ground usually containg water).

    – Gee it sucks to be a Tarts fan. I thought being a Reds fan sucked.
    – That was an appalling game of rugby.
    – gee event the last time the woeful Reds got shipped by a zero score was in 2006 against the Brumbies (36-0 in Canberra).
    – Not a lot positive to take out of that.
    – Sorry Adrian I was rooting for you to go the whole season with a perfect tipping record. That has to hurt!
    – Gibson’s position has to be looking very dubious now.

    Over to you GAGR’s!

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      As I said above, I just can’t wait until the podcast in which the loss is blamed squarely on Gibson and Simmons, while Foley, Hooper and Beale are praised endlessly :P

      • Brisneyland Local

        I think that is why we havnt had a podcast for a week or so! ;-)

    • Adrian

      Perfect tipping a fluke.

      Don’t think Gibson is at risk for a few weeks.

      3 games after break will decide a lot for Tahs

      More robust back 5 in pack, only use Nayavaro out wide, practice at handling.

      I’m not totally writing them off after one bad game. They certainly played a lot worse than in Jags loss, which oddly enough launched a winning streak … against poor teams admittedly

      For the rest of the weekend, c’mon Reds, Rebs, Brums, and totally destroy my tipping cred

      • Brisneyland Local

        As always level headed Adrian. I must admit I only took a little bit of joy out of that defeat. My tipping record is utter shite this year. But then again that differs very little from every year. Tip for young players, never accept from BL if you are betting real money! ;-)

      • Ed

        First weekend where the opponents for all Australian teams are from either NZ or SA conference. Hopefully at least one of our teams can get a win.

        • Mica

          All my hopes are with the Brums

        • Well, that went well!

  • Brendan Hume

    Couple of quick observations – Waratahs were not really much worse than previous – their ball security has been atrocious all year and they make critical errors at key moments – the difference being that the Lions were much better than previous opponents and made them pay.

    Rather than Taqele not grasping his opportunity – the play makers did nothing to adapt to the pressure placed on him. Drew Mitchell made the point when the tip inside from a scrum saw him smashed with Rona on the outside of that pass. If people are being targeted by defence – look for an alternate attack point.

    Until KB dropped the pill, the Tahs looked quite good with him at 10 when Foley went off for a HIA.

    Really – how good is Kwagga Smith. This was a very good Lions team, and there’s no shame losing to them. It should be a good opportunity for the Tahs to benchmark their previous performances in preparation for the oncoming onslaught in the weeks ahead.

    • phil peake

      Can’t blame others players for Taqele dropping the ball and missing tackles though.

  • Hoss

    Gentlemen & learned Rugby aficionados

    A modicum of sensibility, if i may.

    The Tahs seem capable, indeed reliable, at the wheel coming off every 3-4 rounds (Jaguares anyone ?) .

    I share in the despair and general malaise this morning. As a collective Oz rugby conference we want to be competitive, we want our backs straight, chests out and a swagger in our walk. The reality is we will have our moments, we will offer glimpses, insights, tantalising teases of what could be before returning to the solitude best described by Linda Ronstadt (i had a thing for her when i was younger) – ‘poor, poor pitiful me’.

    There’s some interesting jumps in reason on here today – the irish will beat us 3-0, the sky is falling, gibson must go, why do they make vegemite ?

    Wow, really, loss #2 for the YEAR for the Tah’s ?

    As a complete one sided, bias, obnoxious, leather patch wearing, hickory pipe owning NSWelshman i thought we would be 4th this year in the Oz conference and had little to look forward to – so while i will take my lumps this morning i will still believe we will be competitive, win the Oz conference and bow out bravely in week one of the finals.

    And for the record i do not rate Foley, at all, never have, dont think i ever will, i dont agree with light forwards, but 4 wins in a row and 1 loss, i am prepared to keep my powder dry. Nayavoro has hands like feet, our game management was shite and we got what
    we deserved.All the more unpalatable given the first 15 minutes we played like we would win by 40.

    Last night reinforced the underlining issues with the Tahs – according to many on ere today The Tahs are the ONLY side in Oz with such problems ?

    Thats my rant over, i am heading outside were a large orangish orb still looks like its come over the horizon again……….

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      All good points mate and there were glimpses early on. Beale proved he’s no 10 backup. I’ve always said he needs room and when playing 12 looks better in broken play than in a structured set piece. I’d also be interested in seeing him at 15. I thought Gordon was quite good at times but boy the speed of pass improved when Phipps came on. I fear mate that it’s only going to get harde for this team after the bye

      • Sideshow

        “I’d also be interested in seeing him at 15″… we’ve seen Beale at 15 before, and he was arguably the best in the world in the position. For me, he would be one of the first picked in the Wallabies, and picked at 15, end of story. Folau should always have been a wing, not a 15. And there are plenty of options at 12.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Not sure he’s ever been the best in the world but I think he’d be much better there than at 12 and moving closer only cramps him. Not sure why he is seen as an option for 10, mind you I also don’t understand why the Pooper is an option either

    • Adrian

      Yes, totally on the money Hoss.

      The sky hasn’t fallen, the world hasn’t ended

    • Custard Taht

      It is the nature of the losses and the fact that under Gibson, the Tahs have plateaued. I think he is taken this team as far as he can.

      Both the coach and the players seem unable to change, so the saying; If you can’t change the people, change the people, applies.

      • Hoss

        I dont know that i disagree much.

        Consistency is my axe to grind. When we are off we are 100% off, as good at being off as a side could be. When we are on we only hit 60% of on.

        In the rush for fitness, mobility, width, dare, vision and endeavour is a skill set bordering on completely shit-house

        Whats the old adage about ambition v ability ?

    • McWarren

      Well said Hoss my boy. Well done last weekend mate.

      Let’s not panic. I think we are expecting our super teams to just bounce back, like last year was an aberration.

      • Custard Taht

        But the spreadsheet said all would be good now!

  • merle

    Newsome was very much found out. Constantly put under pressure with high balls and was weak in defence. Absolute worthless in attack.

  • idiot savant

    Gee there is some over reaction in this thread today. I don’t see the need for such doom and gloom. The Tahs were bloody good in the first half. They just played a more developed side who are also bloody good. Remember the Tahs only won four games last year. The Lions have made the last two finals. What would be a reasonable expectation for this match based on those facts? It was always going to be uphill for the Tahs. The Lions defence was amazing. They hung in there and waited for momentum to shift and for the Tahs energy to dissipate and then they took control of the game. But if they’d missed a few tackles in the first half and the Tahs had put 2 tries on them it would have been a very near thing. Gibson and his assistants have made great strides this year. I think they should persevere and better results will follow.

    Tactically I think its always difficult to play a side that uses similar tactics – both sides run from depth, offload a lot and use width – when the side you’re playing has been doing it for a lot longer. Yes the Lions pack is huge by comparison but I didnt think that made any difference in the first half. The Tahs line out was humming and they got to use their scrum ball. In the second half the line out throwing / communication broke down and the scrum was shunted. However the Tahs don’t have the cattle to play big so I think they should just keep doing what they are doing. The worst thing that can happen is that they lose confidence in their game plan, then they will really struggle against the kiwis and the whole season will unwind. So stick with it Tahs and remember the first half.

    • Dally M

      I agree, a lot of overreaction & people falling over themselves to put the boot into the Waratahs.

      Their ball security was atrocious, but were still in the match for most of the first half.

      First Lions try, the last pass was forward. They drop kicked for goal cos they knew it and didn’t want it replayed.

      The second try, he lost the ball over the line, but it wasn’t picked up until the replays after the conversion.

      The 3rd try, the mishandle/tip on, went forward.

      3 out of 4 tries!

      The Lions deserved to win, they played much better but in reality it should have been a lot closer.

      The Tahs have to sort their ball security out or the Kiwi’s will gobble that up all day long.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Then again Newson should have received yellow for moving into the player chasing a kick so probably balanced out

        • Dally M

          That was worth a penalty at best.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Not sure they were “bloody good” mate. They were good at keeping the ball, good at moving up the field but, and it’s a pretty big but, they couldn’t get any points. The two playmakers were nullified quite easily and there was nothing else.

  • phil peake

    Hope everyone can stop obsessing about Taqele and a closer look at his ability against quality teams after last night. He will bust tackles sure but he will always be exposed by good teams. So do you want that guy? Do you want him at finals time? Or do you want better skill and brains? Meanwhile Kellaway and Clarke sitting on the sidelines!

    • fatman

      Absolutely, the guy is a one trick pony & he got found out big time last night.

      • Mica

        As much as I wish it wasn’t so it’s hard to disagree

      • Dally M

        They just used him wrong in that game.

        Where were the runs down the touch line?

        • fatman

          Doesn’t matter how you use him he is devoid of the essential skills for a winger. His defensive reads are terrible, he can’t tackle, can’t kick & struggles to offload, not real good for a guy playing super rugby. Like I said, a one trick pony.

    • And based on their form so far this season, deservedly so.

      • phil peake

        That’s a fair point. But they still have more all round skills – kicking, tackling, passing and better game awareness, reading the play, positional play, reaction time and defense to give more over 80 minutes than Taqele (who apart from his good games this year has shown poor form for 3 seasons now).

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    I agree they need to continue, but they also need to work out how to score and not rely on just a couple of played to pass to them step back and watch them score

  • Alister Smith

    Australia is suffering as much or more from a lack of coaching depth as it is from lack of playing depth. Actually I believe the two are inextricably linked. Gibson who will probably be gone by seasons end is our most experienced Super coach. At the moment all teams look behind on skills compared to the best teams, at least in the ability to consistently perform skills under pressure. This won’t be solved in one off season – not sure when mr kafers plan is due but it will need to be a goodun

    • BF

      I think cheika has to shoulder some of the blame with our playing depth.
      Here’s a brief roll call of players that cheika has discarded, that would – without a shadow of doubt – improve Australian rugby at both a national and Super rugby level.
      White, Fardy, Gill, Toomua, Jones, Pyle, Tomane, Mogg, Mowen, Holmes, Charles, Alaa’atoa, Harris, Alo-Emile, Inman, Smith, Browning, Turner, Magnay, Hansen, Butler,

      Certainly, there’s some class players there that should’ve got a crack, but unfortunately – for them – didn’t play for the waratahs

      • Alister Smith

        Not really my point mate – I am talking about coaching depth – but the fact that Cheika hasn’t come under more pressure is related to the lack of experienced alternatives- another factor supporting my argument for coaching depth. In any case, with the exception of Fardy and Holmes I don’t think any of the blokes you listed arre better than the incumbents in their position – Toomua, white and Harris had plenty of opportunities and Toomua didn’t leave because Cheika wasn’t picking him anyway

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