Waratahs v Hurricanes Rnd 1 2019 - Green and Gold Rugby
NSW Waratahs

Waratahs v Hurricanes Rnd 1 2019

Waratahs v Hurricanes Rnd 1 2019

Despite our best efforts, we’re short of writers on the Waratahs front. Here are the highlights instead.

 

And here are Peter Mitchel’s photos.

  • Brisneyland Local

    Well I am not surprised we are short of Waratah writers! (Joke).
    well GAGR’s I did sit down and watch this game, and came a away with a few viewpoints form it:
    1. After reading the Jersey (if you havnt read it, get yourself a copy a fantastic rugby read), I am now more convinced than ever that Kiwi teams always have a belief that that can win. doesnt matter what the score is. If there is 2 mins to go and they are 6 points down they pretty much assume they will take the choclates. They believe in themselves, their skills and their training. This game was evidence of that.
    2. The Waratahs were lucky to be that close in my opinion. I will not blame Foley for his kick, even though I would love to. It was just symtompatic of the poor decision making and poor execution that was demonstrated last night.
    3. Jake Gordon is looking like a better 9 every day. Good to see that with him and Sorovi we have to decent back ups to Genia. Notice there is no mention of Phipps. I think Phipps’s days are done and dusted. Mind you Cheika is coach so will always resurrect him.
    4. I thought the referumping in this game was pretty fair and reasonable. @KRL, dont know your more educated view. But I thought i was reasonable.
    Over to you GAGR’s!

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Watching the recorded game later today. Big night last night and I’m not as young as I used to be. May need a snooze this afternoon lol.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Berocca, and a big lie down.

    • Ed

      One thing you would take from reading the Jersey is if players such as Folau, Beale, Hodge, Kuridrani and AAC had been picked for the ABs, they would have been told – work on your passing. And if they did not put the effort in then that time in the national jersey would have been short-lived. Passing both sides is a core skill for a back yet many of our players cannot do it.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Agree. they work on passing both ways, and for backs kicking both feet. Our guys skill sets are fundamentally lacking.

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        I think Hodge is actually a better passer than we give him credit for.

        I feel like I’ve been overly critical of his passing in the past. Is he any worse than a Crotty, SBW, etc?

    • Who?

      Gus had a pretty good game with the whistle. Hard to fault any of his decisions. Could’ve issued a card to both sides, but the offences that should’ve received them (like Jordie’s penalty for Folau’s regather at 37 minutes) were offences that would’ve made any Rugby fan frustrated at a YC. And regardless of whether or not there should’ve been a card, it was, again, even handed.
      I didn’t think that Kepu was unfairly targeted. Sekope’s a legend, but he can get a bit lazy and have the odd obvious bit of stupid play (like entering a ruck from so far up the side it’s impossible to ignore). And he then tends to double down.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Yep I think his days at this level and pace are starting to affect him. I dont think he is good for international level for more than 40 mins tops.

        • Who?

          Forgot to mention, the Tahs were lucky with Lam’s no try. Rona didn’t even think of using a shoulder there…….. TMO didn’t notice it. It was a flat out shoulder charge.
          That being the case, the 1 points scoreline actually flattered the Tahs, with the Canes having one try denied for the elbow (I’d have disallowed it for the clear, prebound flying wedge and obstruction, before worrying about the leading elbow, which isn’t expressly, specifically banned in law), the shoulder charge on Lam bumping him into touch…

        • Brisneyland Local

          Good points. I thought they were lucky because the Canes were just a shitty to start with, but finally pulled their finger out and closed out the game. where as the tahs just kept being Aussie.

        • John Tynan

          He looked old, but it’s early in the season.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Pure Gold.

  • Nutta

    For me it was actually more a game about who was going to lose it as opposed to win it. And the Tarts came through good to form.

    From the opening I thought the Tarts were dead set on fire and a lot was really working for them throughout the game. But they just weren’t finishing up. Quick points:

    – KHunt and 2Dads made a good centre combo esp with KHunts ability to bend the line. And certainly KHunts kicking game left Foley for dead.

    – Izzy still can’t pass right. Still. How much does this guy get paid again to play footy which includes such elemental ideas as … if I dunno … passing?

    – Ned Ned Ned. McCaffery to take your spot in Gold for mine.

    – Simmo Simmo Simmo… if the pass isn’t on then it simply isn’t on.

    – Kepu must have kicked the Refs cat in the car park because he was getting caned all night (see what I did there?)

    In the end, the Tarts had their chances but didn’t take them. I know the public face of it was Foleys missed shot but there were plenty of other side just as telling both in attack and defence.

    Once again, here’s cheers to the greatest clusterfk of rugby in the nation: NSW with all the players, all the infrastructure, all the ingredients you could hope for and all we got was that unleavened, inedible flatbread.

    Great crowd.

    • Adrian

      Really Nutta?

    • Pedro

      With regards to Izzy’s wayward passing I find it amusing to hear commentators bemoan players like Tevita Kuridrani and AAC in the past for not passing in similar situations. I think it’s more about timing than technique, or at least the ability to make the passing opportunity, or abort it when it’s not on. Folau needs to realise that he’s always been one of the worlds ball carriers into contact, he’s never going to be the among the best playmakers, although he can create opportunities for his team mates by forcing more defenders to commit and only offloading when it’s on.

      Summarised: the defenders would always prefer Folau to pass the ball, he should do the opposite.

      • Nutta

        Overall I agree with you P. The guy Issa a running threat and not a distribution threat. But besides the glaring obvious pass to the linesman, there were at least 2 other times he was well placed to use the outside man and didn’t. One of those times was after his ‘crowd pleaser pass’ so I reckon his inability to pass to the right gets into his head a bit. But for him to still be doing that as a guy who does this for a living and has so for many years, I find that really hard to accept as an acceptable output of the dollars and trust I invest into RA.

        • Pedro

          Yeah, agree. He has the yips with it.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          He plain cannot pass left to right.

          It is pathetic he has been a fullback since 2013 and hasn’t worked on his passing and kicking issues.

          What does he do in training? Practice jumping really high?

        • Ed

          The same could be said of Gilbert, who made his test debut in 2009.

        • John Tynan

          To be fair, his kicking was pretty good the other night.

        • Nutta

          I thought it was a good night on the toes for Izzy. Likewise I was impressed with the kicking of KHunt.

        • Andy

          Looks like he’s been practising his kicking. But his decision making and passing still leave a lot to be desired.

      • John Tynan

        Tackle bust, yes, but Izzy carrying in to contact to re-set play is always 50-50 and most loosies would eye a turnover of Folau once on the deck.

      • Mica

        Or he could just practice throwing a couple hundred passes a day and improve.

    • Bernie Chan

      Jeez mate…opening a can of worms if we start looking at guys who can’t pass left-to-right…got some in key ball playing ares in the Wallas and TAHs. Hard to fathom that guys can get promoted up through the talent identification ranks with such major flaws in their technique…then again we also have flyhalfs and fullbacks that can’t kick and scrumhalfs that can’t pass!

      • John Tynan

        It’s all about their athletic ability, and a trust in the process.

        • Nutta

          Do they train well? Are they part of Mitchells Inner Scrotum?

        • John Tynan

          You get it. Obviously you are part of the program.

  • Adrian

    Hard to be a Waratah writer, not because they are no good (semi-final ists after all), but because the overall feel of the room has shifted (IMO) to an assumption that “of course” everything is rigged in favour of the Tahs and Cheika.

    Notwithstanding that little rave, I enjoyed the match even though I didn’t tip the Tahs.

    Good quality football in both Oz matches IMO

    • Brumby Runner

      Adrian, that has been the feeling in the other provinces for the whole of the Cheika reign. If there is any shift at all, it is that many Tahs fans are now starting to see the light. Just review the swag of negative comments now coming out about Hanigan. They are the same comments a lot of non-Tahs fans have been posting for a couple of years.

      Foley didn’t get his usual raves after the game either. Keep posted, the voices will turn against the likes of AAC and Beale too if the Tahs lose a couple more.

      • John Tynan

        Don’t limit yourself to the Cheika reign! It goes WAAYYYY back.
        Either that, or we need to find something else to coalesce around up here…

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      The thing is, I don’t have any problems with the Tahs. My preferred 23 has a roughly equal number of Tahs and Brumbies.

      The fact is that Cheika likes Yes Men, and he centralised and trusts all his yes men from the 2014 Tahs, and seems to have a soft spot for guys who plays for the Tahs too. They’re afforded opportunities after being injured / not playing the other players aren’t, such as Latu in 2016 and Dempsey in 2017.

    • Parker

      No Waratah writers because they’ve all been picked to cover the Wallabies.

  • Gottsy

    I think both aus SR games this weekend have just been desperate to shake the shackles and get going, but it seems there is a bit of rust / nerves holding us back. So often when I watch an Australian rugby team it still comes across as though it’s the first time they have played together, but this weekend it seemed a little better, so fingers crossed we can keep moving forward.
    For the Tahs- I was a bit confused with the back row set up, I would have thought that Hanigan would be second row, Dempsey would be 6 and Holloway at 8, but for the most part it seemed to go ok. If they are able to build on the combinations and keep the mobile forwards balanced on the park they could prove to be a bit of a handful. I thought the Valetini / Pocock / McCaffrey back row was the best on paper this weekend but unfortunately we didn’t get to see it.
    The back line actually looked pretty good for most of the game- ignoring the customary Curtis Rona clanger. Great to see Hunt have a good game, will be good to see him, KB and two dads provide a solid start / bench midfield team.
    Overall I’ve been left cautiously optimistic, obviously the reds are going to go undefeated this season but I just want to see the other aus teams go ok so they feel like they have a bit of a chance

  • Hoss

    Hmmmm this ‘story’ is like the Tah’s effort – could do better.

    Hard to say how I am feeling. Would be unfair and myopic to blame Spanners alone, although a straight kick would have pocketed yours truly $800AUD (about $6.3m NZD equivalent) – bastard. Kepu played dumb, Hanigan, I actually thought he went ok but gave away too many penalties in second half to get a pass mark overall. Holloway was my MOTM, Lee Magors was good, Sour Mash was solid, in fact the right 5 were better than I had hoped and that young Rory somebody – replacement loose head looks a real tyro – first time I’d spotted him. Overall I thought our D was great and 2dads and Genitals were magnificent in the middle of the park. Genitals in particular looked like he’d been there for years and years. Back to the pine Gilbert.

    But and it’s a big but – if you are gonna invite a kiwi side to score against you – well, they fucking well will. It’s like my first time in prison. You drop the soap once, you may get away with it, drop it twice and your tempting fate, drop it three times and you get a nasty rash and an unwanted reputation and pretty soon you are wearing rouge to the mess-hall and being spooned at night by a lifer called ‘Bubba’ and it’s game over. The Waratah dropped too much soap and today have the limp that goes with.

    Fucking Spanners I had just about pulled the trigger in anew pair of RMs as well. Back to the drawing board.

    • Keith Butler

      The Bard returns. Penultimate para a thing of beauty.

    • Brisneyland Local

      MAte great write up as usual.
      I equate to the Kiwi teams being like my kids. Give em an inch they take a mile. The Tah’s or any Aus team for that matter, just hand too many opportunities to them. Then they just smash us.
      Byt he way I must have missed. Why does Hunt = genitals?

    • Nutta

      To be fair, Holloway and Dempsey had pretty good games I thought.

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        Holloway played very well, but a lock, he is not.

        • Nutta

          Agree there

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          It frustrates me because if he played 6 or 8 all year and proved he was capable of doing the tight stuff when playing as a loosie, he would potentially solve a lot of the Wallabies’ back-row issues.

          In my eyes we have Dempsey, Jones, Naisarani, Holloway and McCaffrey competing to be those bigger back-rowers who can jump at the line out we’ve been looking for. Hopefully a few of them can kick on this year.

          Even Cottrell is very good, although he is a bit smaller I believe…

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Mate, until the Pooper is pushed into the history books where it should be you will always have an unbalanced loose trio. It’s a real shame because as you mention there are actually some good players who could make a proper loose trio work

        • Nutta

          I like Jones but he has hard hands and drops too much pill. Dropped 2 clangers vs the Donkeys.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Personally, I don’t agree. First game rust. I don’t think his hands are any worse than Fardy’s were, and he’s a better ball runner than Fardy and he’s better in the line out.

          Hopefully it is just first game rust.

        • Mica

          Fardy is much much better at the ruck though.

        • Charcoal

          He’s always played No 8 for his club side Southern Districts and a good one at that.

        • Hoss

          He’s certainly got the build for it, good hands, good in contact and a legitimate third jumper – he stole plenty of Canes pill.

      • Who?

        Dempsey goes hard, and I like that, but he’s not a smart player. Does dumb stuff regularly. Look at the first few minutes – he goes in to bind onto a ball carrier in a manner that prevents the player from getting to ground and forms a maul (the correct option would’ve been to rip the ball without binding and continue driving upfield, rather than binding on), then pushes forwards on his knees to lie all over the bloke he’s just tackled. He singlehandedly gave the Canes possession and then 40m of territory. With the same mistakes he was making on the EOYT. Surely someone can take him aside and explain to him that you can form mauls in general play, and when opponents are holding up your team mate, don’t let them form the maul!!!

        • Nutta

          Fair point. I’m tempted to ask the obvious about professional development and all that but I would sound like too much of an HR wanker I guess. i mean how unrealistic am I to expect guys skills to be developed yeh? Izzy passing, Quade tackling, Simmons… anything…

          Stepping sideways, one of the things I chuckle about in the modern game is the maul and its lack of use outside lineouts. I played for a side back in the later 80’s and 90’s where we would catch restarts and simply maul… and maul… and maul… at least 10-20m upfield and back towards centre-field to suck up defenders and open up centre-a-side and reassess from there. We would do the same off ruck ball if the right guys were about to establish the maul initially. We would set up with a double latch and as soon as the carrier made contact the 1st and 2nd men-in would both drive and slightly lift the carrier (so he couldn’t be tackled), establish the drive and leave ripping to the 3rd man. The distinguishing difference was that no-one panicked, the sequencing of 1st man goes here & 2nd man goes here was sorted so everyone knew their roles (even if they were a Back) and we created such forward momentum that the opponent couldn’t afford to go high ‘over’ the maul to attack the ball because we would gobble too much ground in the meantime.

          Interestingly enough, the collapsed situation law is different now with ‘use it or lose it’ and was also still the same in that no one had to roll-away when we hit the ground BUT these days the ref is letting every bugger dive in to actively PREVENT the ball from emerging. They are usually both offside and playing the ball on the ground. That’s wrong in my opinion.

        • Who?

          One of my proudest coaching moments was when the U11’s team I helped with drove a rolling maul 50m, from their own 10m line almost to the opposition tryline, then broke off and scored. They only broke off because the opposition FINALLY got enough numbers in to pull it up! It wasn’t fast progress – no running involved, they were tight and driving. But it was constant, and awesome. After receiving the restart (after the try), they went another 30m with another maul…
          Problem with Dempsey forming mauls all over the shop is he tends to do it when his team mate is gang tackled, and he’s the only support player. And he seems completely shocked by losing possession after the ball doesn’t come out. So it’s tactical awareness that’s lacking, not intent, effort or technique.
          I think the situation with allowing everyone to dive over to seal off the ball isn’t really that different to the situation with rucks about 5 years ago. They’ve improved requiring players to roll away, hopefully they’ll be more awake to the maul situation. Though, given they miss people swimming up the side, I can’t be confident.
          Similarly, at the ruck, they still miss a heap of inaccurate entries. Gus missed a heap both ways the other night (he was consistent). The Tahs pack entered the vast majority of breakdowns from the side, partially created because no one realigns after throwing a pass – they just run across the field and enter a ‘guard’ position having thrown their knee sideways over their team mate. Which is a pretty weak guarding position. The same issue is found in the backs, where Folau threw two dodgy passes to a too-flat Newsome. It’s not a Tahs-only problem. But if there was a little more depth in support, then players wouldn’t be entering rucks directly from the side, players would be better supported if there’s a need to form a maul, and there’d be no forward passes.

        • Nutta

          For me I think it’s because we allow too much ‘play’ by the tackled player. These days we allow a veritable age for a player to release – and that is usually a pass off the ground. This makes it too tempting for players to be flat & wide – thus overshooting and thus then joining the ruck illegally.

          I believe we should insist the tackled player both plays the ball quickly and with no 2nd and 3rd grabs. This will force supporters to trail tighter and deeper. This will by default mean a more legal joining of the contest.

        • Who?

          I’m not sure that’s the cause. Because it happens in both the forwards and the backs. Look at Folau’s forward pass to Newsome in contact the other night – Newsome was alongside Folau as he entered contact. Even without the tackle, Newsome’s too flat in support. If Folau doesn’t pass to Newsome, then Newsome’s completely out of the game (and there’s no close support for the breakdown about to form).
          I’m not sure that’s the problem, because a pop pass off the ground is most effective when it’s thrown to someone who’s deep enough to be running hard approaching the ruck from behind after the player’s had time to hit the deck and roll. Most of these supporters are too flat to be running at pace by the time the tackled player’s free to pop that pass.
          I think it’s an obsession with being too flat, or even just laziness. That’s ok for backs in general play, in phase play, when trying to break the line. But it’s terrible for forwards (they should be supporting from depth), and useless for everyone in broken play.

        • Nutta

          Laziness is ok for a back???

          Seriously though, I agree the practice of flat-running is poor but it’s this obsession with passing after the line that tempts guys to be ‘too’ flat. That combines with the latitude they know they currently get for entering sideways and we get a shit sandwich.

        • Who?

          I added laziness after typing the rest… Trying to be flat’s ok in general, phase play. Laziness is just endemic in backs – not ok, but unavoidable. :-P
          I just wish coaches at that level would point out it’s better to hit that flat pass a fraction late at full pace than be standing there hoping for an offload.
          But the problem is that coaches don’t see it impacts on the game, they don’t see their teams penalized enough for the problems created by the obsession (i.e. players getting done consistently for side entry, forward passes, etc), perhaps they don’t recognise the cause (because I think it’s pretty clear that those of us frequenting this website clearly have more insight than a number of top level coaches! At least, we do in certain areas, where they don’t care), and there’s no motivation to fix what they don’t see as a problem.

        • Nutta

          Preaching to the converted Brudda. The only thing that shits me more at the moment – and that’s saying something about a guy that gets pissed at most things – are flat-footed forward runners. That makes me want to randomly stab people in sheer barbaric frustration.

        • Mica

          Primary support anyone? Besides you just need to change your angle to get some width if the ball carrier breaks the line. Really this is school boys stuff!!

    • Huw Tindall

      I like this generally up beat assessment. One point loss to the Canes where we should have won. Midfield defence was excellent as you mention. They were up against Laumapi and Aso too! Even Spanners did ok defending in the line at 10. Only got sat down by Laumapi once bit has decent technique and commits his shoulder. Not his fault he isn’t 6’3″. As a result is KB on the pine. With AAC likely to sit out this week with a HIA return to play protocol case Beale can move to 15. Even Izzy said he’s happy to do that of required. Hopefully he’s told the wife.

      Scrum holding up was a blessed relief. The your props Talaki and O’Conner looked handy. This was my biggest worry of the season. HJH and Kepu will need to play minutes and I could be a shot when they rest Kepu but overall not the shit show I feared. That scrum penalty at the end girded the loins if only Foley had brought it home.

      • Hoss

        There’s never a good loss Huw, but I was happy with the effort. For the sake of Oz rugby though, these efforts must generate wins and grow to belief etc etc etc.

        I really like the look of the Oz squads this year though. There is a depth to all of them not seen in a while.

        There will be some selection headaches for gold and I am really interested in the third selector and that whole dynamic. Get Segall
        Doing what he does best and coach and doing least what he does worst – select and the whole equation looks better

        • Huw Tindall

          You are right re belief. Nothing like a win. Looking at the players they didn’t seem in awe or tentative against the Canes. Certainly weren’t scared of the Kiwis and they ripped in. In seasons past the floodgates would have opened and we’d have been done by 15 points in the last 20.

  • Cameron Rivett

    Bernard Foley missed an almost identical kick last year in the 77th minute against the Crusaders – and even that wasn’t the first time he’s done so against Kiwi teams. He had a great kicking success rate last year and has slotted game-winning kicks previously but he definitely plays like he has demons on his back when he’s up against NZ opponents these days.

    Not so sure about Curtis Rona on the wing either. Maybe Beale to fullback and Folau to wing?

    • Huw Tindall

      Yeah Spanners is kicking at 85% last 2 seasons. World class numbers. He did alot one from touch off Rona’s try in the game. Still, that kick is 95% for him. Pity as would have been a great start to the year.

      • Kiap

        Two issues with Foley’s kicking are lack of range and loss of technique under pressure. As a younger man, and with a clearer mind, he would kick match winners but the demons have since closed in.

  • Crescent

    I am going to propose a thought. Composure. It’s what the Canes has in spades, and the Tahs lacked.

    Once I was fortunate to hear Nobody speaking at a company event. His 6 key words around the successful Wallabies of that era – Composure, Faith, Agitation, Connection, Humility, Accountability.

    We lack too many of those traits (note faith was not about the religious kind) – no composure, not enough agitation, too much faith in the training paddock, still developing connection, too short on humility and lacking accountability. These are the building blocks for Big Match Temperament, which was required last night to take the result.

    That said, it was a better performance across the park than we have seen from the Tahs for a few seasons – I just want more agitation from the team to improve faster and further. The early signs are the gap is closing, but there is a lot of real work ahead if we want to move from pretenders to contenders.

  • BF

    - I thought Karmichael Hunt played well – at least he was going forward, not like Beale going sideline to sideline (a better proposition than Beale).
    – Thought AAC and Kepu were about 2 yards too slow
    – Hannigan, offers nothing
    – Latu: discipline again (and not just penalties)
    – Hooper, over-rated. still standing on the wing. 50% of his tackles are passive. At the breakdown, have a look at how many times he’s resting his chest on someone’s back. seriously, what value is he adding!! the elbow no-try, was poor technique. Watch Savea’s try he did exactly the same thing. (By the way, the elbow made contact with hooper’s bicep – tough call against the Hurricanes). PS: Will Miller is the best #7 in NSW
    – Did Simmons actually play – MIA!

    This was close to the best possible waratahs line up, whereas the Hurricanes didn’t field their strongest team – just saying!!!

    • Ron Moloney

      I have never been a fan of Dempsey for some time, and looking at last nights game and comparing what he offers in tackles, ball carries and lineouts he is in my opinion at best a first grade rugby player who makes even Hannigan look like a star. Can anyone on this site convince me otherwise?

      • John Tynan

        Harsh call, I reckon.
        For mine Dempsey’s not a number 8, and is actually pretty close to a Fardy style 6, with good footwork and an ability to pilfer, hard at the ball, and a good carry (especially when compared to Flan-diddly-anders.)
        Another good player in the wrong position IMO.

    • Huw Tindall

      Tough on Hooper mate. Passive tackle? His cover tackle is the only thing that stopped Ben Lam down the left flank. Was a great hit putting him into touch.

      AAC did look slow but organised defence really well with KHunt. They were up against Laumapi and Aso who are serious heavy hitters.

  • Adrian

    Good game overall.

    Hurricanes were favorites (6.5+ start to Tahs), so good first up effort I thought.

    Good to see NSW hanging in there when under the pump for last 20.

    Foley has won some and lost some at the death of the last few years. Not his fault.

    Generally Tahs a bit rusty, but not as rusty as I thought.

    Big games from HJH, Hunt, Holloway and Gordon.

    Good (and poor) things from Kepu, Latu, Rona and Folau.

    Steady stuff from Hooper, AAC, Dempsey, and no out and out duds.

    As I mentioned last week, I’d prefer Beale to start next week at 15, but I think the coach is a better judge than me …for this team at least.

    Next week’s worry for Tahs will be in the front row, with both Kepu and Vui likely to be injured.

    If one of the objectives of SR is to find Wallabies for the 3 selectors to select, both weekend games have provided a few new options, including Rangi, Phillip, Jones, Cooper, Kurandrani, Holloway, Gordon and Hunt

    • Ed

      I would have thought the Moondogs games would have been ones that Kepu would have been rested anyway as he is the most important tight forward for the Tahs and Sekope would have to sit out three games if the 20 percent load is to be applied.

      • Adrian

        Agree Ed.
        Just a shame Vui is likely still out too
        I’m not sure about the Japanese front row, but I expect they are competent

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          The set piece is definitely not the strength off the Moondogs after watching them last night.

          I think the Tahs should be fine in the set piece.

      • Huw Tindall

        When Kepu rests who is the other prop to come in? Robertson won’t be back for a while and with Vui also an injury that’s the full 6 props in the squad I think. Anybody know if there are more props in the extended squad or if not who from Shute Shield would be next cab off the rank?

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      What good things did Latu do? When did he last not catastrophically fuck up a match?

      I feel like it’s about 3 in a row now…

      Holloway and Gordon played very well. Hunt looked a tad slow.

      • Charcoal

        Agree on Latu. I’m always on edge every time he throws into the lineout, especially defending on our goal line. His ill-discipline in general play is also a worry. I honestly don’t know what he brings to the game. On the other hand, Damien Fitzpatrick is far more reliable and a leader as well, but barely gets a mention. He’s one of the most under-rated players in the Tahs.

        • Huw Tindall

          Yes big fan of Fitzpatrick. If he had a touch more size he’d be a real Wallabies chance. Great technique in all parts of his game with a shed load of experience. Happy to keep Latu on the bench until he can sort his discipline and throwing out.

        • Charcoal

          Alas, I regret that Latu being a product of Sydney University, is a protected species and although Fitzpatrick was the preferred starting hooker for all but the final game of the Waratahs last year, he will continue to be selected in spite of his shortcomings, especially by Cheika.

    • Huw Tindall

      KB can’t play alongside Foley for defensive reasons and that was on show today. Genitals and Two Dads kept Laumapi and Aso quiet and they are serious units at 12/13. Foley is OK defending in the line and has decent technique. He’s just a smallish bloke. To his credit he only got sat down by Laumapi once all game. The whole midfield was solid with Canes needing the forwards to barge over the line in close.

      For mine the fact t HR e scrum held up well was a relief. Number of technical penalties for early binding but when they packed correctly they held up well and then there was the penalty at the end with the reserve front row. If Foley had got that we’d be telling a whole other sotry today. “Tahs secure late victory off the back of young propping combo on debut”. Both Talaki and O’Conner looked pretty decent actually.

    • NSWelsham in London

      McCaffrey has to be on that list for potential wallabies, his work rate was brilliant and a great shout for 6.

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Well to be fair the game was actually really good. I was actually impressed with Folau’s kicking a couple of times and I hope it means he’s been practicing and it will remain better and continue to improve. My Canes were lucky, no doubt at all but I’ll take it and I was impressed how they always looked for something and even more how they backed off to stop giving away penalties. Displayed some good leadership.

    My take on AAC and Hunt was that Hunt looked a bit lost. Ran well at times but I think QC organises him better than Foley and his lack of experience needs that guidance. Thought AAC looked old and past his best. Wasn’t in the picture most of the time and didn’t seem to bring the guidance and support I’d expect. Both need to improve a bit if they want a yellow jersey later on I think.

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      What did you think about Folau’s passing? :P

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        It lived up to expectations mate. He’s shit and hasn’t got better for all the years and dollars pumped into him. That’s why the kicking surprised me, he actually kicked a couple of good ones. Just waiting to see if it continues or if it was a one off

  • Who?

    Another thing I forgot (beyond Rona being lucky for getting away with a shoulder charge on Lam whilst Lam was trying to score, and the Canes losing a try for foul play on Hooper (which I thought was the last of several offences, including forming a flying wedge and obstruction (Hooper couldn’t tackle the ball carrier because #20 was in front of the ball carrier))), was that the Canes managed to get across the line without a 10 on the field. We all saw why TJ plays 9 – he can’t catch!!! How many times did he miss the ball?! And the Tahs still didn’t manage to get up… Canes were worthy winners, could’ve won by another 14 points, but the Tahs should’ve done better than they did with those advantages (two disallowed tries plus TJ at 10).

  • Huw Tindall

    Thought i’d have a crack at player ratings for the Tahs. 1-10 with 5 being an OK game for a pro footballer. Warning I wear blue tint glasses. Here goes.
    HJH – 7 – his side of the scrum held up well and was busy around the park. Class was the tackle and turnover after a Canes bust upfield.
    Fitzpatrick – 5 – set piece solid as usual but got bossed a little on goal line defence.
    Kepu – 4 – clearly rusty. Gave away too many penalties. Highlight though was a massive rush up hit on Laumapi (I think).
    Simmons – 5 – standard. Contributed at set piece and looks a few kegs heavier this year. No mistakes or stupid penalties. Couple of ok runs.
    Holloway – 7 – got through a shit ton of work and looked keen. Seemed to be the primary one out ball carrier. Good in the lineout. Helped steal 1-2 off the Canes.
    Ned – 5 – got through a lot of work as usual but stupid penalties!! Taken over from Simmons. He is the best lineout jumper though and stole a couple of Canes throws as well. That last lineout he was interfered with in the air plus the throw was shite so won’t ping him for that. Looks to be slowly hardening up in contact.
    Hooper – 7 – was everywhere as usual doing what he does best. Always being a pest and there in support. Hunt took some defensive workload off him thankfully. Highlight the try saver cover tackle on Ben Lam. Beat Rona to him and smashed him to touch. That play alone got him to 7 points.
    Dempsey – 5 – still working back to form but played hard on ball with a ton of energy. Some silly penalties and poor body height at times though.
    Gordon – 6 – passes early weren’t in front of the man but slowly warmed up. Good kicking game but should have run more. Defended well and has an 80 min motor.
    Foley – 6 – almost have him a 5 but he ran the backline pretty well with minimal ball and defended well at 10 in the line. Laumapi got through once which is not a bad return. Looks to have got a few more metres on his touch finders. Sure missed the winner but he has world class kicking numbers and slotted one from touch earlier off the Rona try.
    Hunt – 7 – KB is riding the pine. That’s my assessment. Along with AAC sured up thr midfield playing again Laumapi and Aso who are two of the hardest runners in the game. Also two very incisive runs with serious metres. Reminded me of McMahon with post contact metres from leg drive. Bonus is his boot. Got a 50m touch finder when he caught a kick off. No setting up the play just caught it bang off a large punt. Good exit which is something the Tahs have been poor at.
    AAC – 5 – bit slow but was defensively sound which if we are honest what he is in the team for. Played 80 mins and even passed the ball a few times. Took some solid hit ups when required.
    Newsome – 5 – very limited opportunities but some good kick chase pressure and was in the right place to score standing outside Folau two time for Izzy to pass the ball behind him and then marginally kn front. Had space in front each time.
    Rona – 5 – finished his try with Angie Savea hanging off him but made a couple of dud reads defensively allowing the Canes to get outside him. Generally ok though and again limited opportunities on the wings today.
    Folau – 6 – was going to give him a 5 but was flawless under the high ball, made some good metres up the centre of the pitch breaking tackles, and had a few smart and good kicks. Hopefully he is improving here. Two dud passes to Newsome brought him down though and still has a tendency for a speculative offload.

    Reserves
    Talaki and O’Conner – 6 each – Good debut shifts. Busy around the park and ruck plus a good bustling run from Talaki in tight. That scrum penalty at the end was glories.
    Latu – 4 – same old story with discipline and throws. When he is on he is outstanding. When he’s off he is a dead set liability. Couple of trademark hits and strong scrum but not enough to make up for penalties at a time we needed discipline to get out of our half.
    Miller – 6 – best on ball 7 in the country after Poey I reckon and a great player to have when Hooper is rested. Some great work in tight including foiling an ominous Canes maul.
    The rest – not enough minutes to make a call on. Can’t remember Clark even getting a tough. Roets looked massive but didnt do anything in the few mins he was on. Must have the biggest melon in the comp. Check it out sometime.

    My Tah’s MOTM is a draw between Hunt and Holloway then. Both bringing something the Tahs missed last year. If forced I’d give it to Hunt as I can’t stress enough how relieved I am to not have a midfield with more holes in it than a game of connect four.

NSW Waratahs
@Only1Sully

Just another Rugby tragic. Shane "Sully" Sullivan has been in man love with the game since high school in the 70's. He inflicts his passion on family and anyone who will listen. He can't guarantee unbiased opinion but he can tell you the Reds are Awesome! To read non-rugby content head to http://www.onesully.com.au

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