I will lead Waratahs by example, says Robinson

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    First-time NSW Waratahs skipper Benn Robinson says he’ll lead by example against the physically powerful Sharks in Saturday’s desperation Super Rugby clash at Allianz Stadium.

    Robinson has never captained a team before and takes the reins with the Waratahs at a crossroads, staring down the barrell of their worst ever start to a Super Rugby season.

    The Wallabies prop might be new to the job, but he has a clear take on what kind of leader he needs to be to help the Waratahs turn their fortunes around against their physical South African opponents.

    Robinson is planning on getting his hands dirty against the big Sharks forwards and set an example for his teammates to follow.

    “I think my role is more to provide a voice when it’s needed as well as that inspiration at times,” Robinson said.

    “There’s only so much I can say leading up to the game and during the game and if I can stand out there and have a strong performance and lead by example, I think that’s the best thing I can do.”

    Embarrassed by the Force at home last week, coach Michael Foley has opted for a freshen-up, most notably introducing a brand new halves pairing in Berrick Barnes and Brendan McKibbin.

    Incumbent captain and five-eighth Daniel Halangahu has been moved back to the bench, with Tom Carter to start at inside centre, while South African import Sarel Pretorius has also received a demotion to the interchange bench to make way for McKibbin at No.9.

    Part of Foley’s thinking is Pretorius needs a rest after a taxing opening few weeks, and he indicated NSW’s star signing would soon assume his role back in the starting side.

    While McKibbin has never started a Super Rugby match before, he’s also an accomplished goal-kicker, and with Barnes still treading carefully after a quad strain, he might be elevated as first choice kicker.

    Foley will make a final decision on whether Barnes or McKibbin will kick on Friday at the captain’s run, but insisted changes were required in the playmaking department.

    “We felt it was time for Berrick to assume the position he was intended to start with at the beginning of the year,” said Foley.

    “We obviously went with three ball players for the last couple of weeks and probably felt we weren’t necessarily getting the go forward we needed and felt it was time for Berrick to step back into that role at 10.

    “Sarel’s … got a few bumps and bruises. He’s extremely valuable to us and our intention with all our players is to try and avoid injuries rather than pushing people to the point where they break down.”

    Pretorius, who possesses a dangerous running game, is likely to be injected into the action late in the match.

    Wycliff Palu makes a timely return at No.8 to add some much needed muscle for the Waratahs, and brothers Sitaleki and Lopeti Timane will do the same off the bench – their first ever match playing together.

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (37)

    • March 23rd 2012 @ 6:41am
      mania said | March 23rd 2012 @ 6:41am | ! Report

      wow how desperate do u have to be to make a b grade fatty like robinson captain?!?!

      • March 23rd 2012 @ 7:50am
        brendon said | March 23rd 2012 @ 7:50am | ! Report

        id hardly say he is a b grade player.. He is one of the best loose head props in the world. Captain?? not sure , but as a player he is definitely worthy of respect

        • March 23rd 2012 @ 7:54am
          mania said | March 23rd 2012 @ 7:54am | ! Report

          sorry brendon – wouldnt consider him one of the best loose heads at all. maybe in the top 20 but not the top 10 of current props.
          wouldnt think he’s the inspiring captain material. no indication that he has any idea of strategy and tactics and does he understand the rules enough to debate decisions with the ref? nothing to date to indicate he has any of these attributes.

        • March 23rd 2012 @ 6:43pm
          WQ said | March 23rd 2012 @ 6:43pm | ! Report

          brendon, not sure I agree with mania about Robinson being a b grade fatty, however he certainly is not one of the best loose head props in the world!

    • March 23rd 2012 @ 9:02am
      jameswm said | March 23rd 2012 @ 9:02am | ! Report

      Say what you want mania, but Robinson’s a fantastic player. Tough round the field and strong scrummager. Whether he’s captaincy material, who knows.

      The Tahs are all over the place in the backs. They don’t know what they’re doing, and fiddling with combinations. Why didn’t they try Foley-Barnes at 10-12 in the trials?

      Also, how is Dean Mumm still starting? What about big (and I mean big) Timani, who was a breath of fresh air when he came on last weekend.

      You’ve got to wonder.

      • March 23rd 2012 @ 9:17am
        mania said | March 23rd 2012 @ 9:17am | ! Report

        jameswn – hmph, we’ll agree to disagree on this one. i’d love to be proven wrong and ben ends up being a great captain, but i just dont rate him highly enough and have a low opinion of his merits as a world class loose head

        • March 23rd 2012 @ 10:00am
          Ben S said | March 23rd 2012 @ 10:00am | ! Report

          Two seasons ago Robinson was arguably the world’s premier loosehead.

          • March 23rd 2012 @ 10:33am
            mania said | March 23rd 2012 @ 10:33am | ! Report

            benS – WTF? when was tubby ever considered the premier loose head?!?! maybe in aus but not in world rugby

            • March 23rd 2012 @ 11:32am
              jameswm said | March 23rd 2012 @ 11:32am | ! Report

              not by you obviously, mania

            • March 23rd 2012 @ 12:00pm
              Ronnie88 said | March 23rd 2012 @ 12:00pm | ! Report

              Fat Cat holds his own at scrum time, thats about it, lazy around the park and spends alot of time out in the back line both in attack and defence, not up the guts where he is needed on a regular basis. Its a struggle to rate him world class.

            • March 23rd 2012 @ 12:53pm
              Who Needs Melon said | March 23rd 2012 @ 12:53pm | ! Report

              Ben S is right. But so is Ronnie88.

              Benn is very soft around the field. Hardly the guy you would describe as throwing himself into rucks and mauls and inspiring his team mates. There was some shocking footage of him up on YouTube put up by Green and Gold Rugby a few weeks back. I hope this changes on the weekend – maybe he’ll put a bit more effort in now that he knows eyes are on him.

              • March 23rd 2012 @ 1:15pm
                nickoldschool said | March 23rd 2012 @ 1:15pm | ! Report

                Am with mania.TBH have never heard of anyone rating him as “the best loose head prop in the world”. A good SR prop yes, but nothing else. I dont think he would make any starting XV of the other top 8 teams. Nice bloke though.

              • March 24th 2012 @ 1:55am
                Bakkies said | March 24th 2012 @ 1:55am | ! Report

                Would like to a Robinson, Moore, Palmer front row for the Wallabies

          • March 23rd 2012 @ 4:35pm
            granville said | March 23rd 2012 @ 4:35pm | ! Report

            really?……..better than Tony Woodcock, Gethin Jenkins, Andy Sheridan and the Boks loosehead props……u gotta be joking

            • March 23rd 2012 @ 7:51pm
              jeznez said | March 23rd 2012 @ 7:51pm | ! Report

              in 2009 Robinson was on fire and getting accolades, not just from Aussies. Whether the ones saying he was world’s best were really justified was touch and go. At the time Woocock probably carried the mantle but I think had been injured so Robbo was definitely in the mix.

              I can remember in that years Ireland game in Dublin, the Aussie scrum dished it out. Healy was on debut and although he had a great running game his scrum was way off. On the other side Robinson put Hayes under all sorts of pressure.

              Mike Hayes (younger brother of) was a member of of my rugby club in HK and thought that Robinson was illegally standing too close pre-engagement. My response was that he was 5 foot 8 inches and what else would you expect him to do?

              2010 and 2011 he had injury issues so we haven’t seen him have an uninterrupted run at international level to get a good gauge on his scrummaging levels. Agree with posters above who say that he isn’t doing enough breakdown work at the moment.

              • March 25th 2012 @ 12:13am
                granville said | March 25th 2012 @ 12:13am | ! Report

                fair point

      • March 23rd 2012 @ 9:26am
        Justin said | March 23rd 2012 @ 9:26am | ! Report

        James – The selections are becoming Deans like! How you can persist with Mumm when you have both Timani’s on the bench is beyond me. All their selections smack of conservatism, a conservatism that is killing rugby in Sydney…

    • March 23rd 2012 @ 9:41am
      DingoBob said | March 23rd 2012 @ 9:41am | ! Report

      Isn’t Elsom the Captain of the Tahs? That’s right he is a broken down crock.

      • March 23rd 2012 @ 9:46am
        Markus said | March 23rd 2012 @ 9:46am | ! Report

        I wish the Tahs all the best with their newly acquired and well thought out purchase.
        The Brumbies will reluctantly settle for a discard turned captain who puts in an 80min performance week in week out.

        • March 23rd 2012 @ 11:26am
          Denby said | March 23rd 2012 @ 11:26am | ! Report

          I wish we had Mowen back. He always puts in 100% and seems to play better as Captain.

    • March 23rd 2012 @ 9:46am
      Eric said | March 23rd 2012 @ 9:46am | ! Report

      jameswm lets see if Timani can play football first. Big maybe, a big log. Can he win lineouts reliably, can he make a few tackles and runs and cleanouts.
      I also query Robinson’s reputation. He lifted John Smit in a scrum a couple of years ago, which everybody soon did, and Phil Kearns has him as worlds best loosehead overnight. I’d rate him as handy scrummager, good round the paddock, similar to half a dozen Aussie props. That was a good question above, “Does he know the laws of the game”.

      • March 23rd 2012 @ 10:17am
        jameswm said | March 23rd 2012 @ 10:17am | ! Report

        So Eric, you didn’t see Timani last week? Or last year? He’s strong, mobile and skilled enough. What exactly does Mumm do? I watch him and he’s useless, and I mean useless, taking the ball into contact (looks scared and goes down almost voluntarily), and makes no solid tackles or dominant clear-outs.

        The Tahs scrum has been demolishing opponents, including the Highlanders in Dunedin, and that’s with Mumm at lock! (not sure on which side – presumably the left).

        • March 23rd 2012 @ 4:14pm
          jeznez said | March 23rd 2012 @ 4:14pm | ! Report

          Correct Jim, he has been on the left. Big Kane is on the right. Tack Timani behind Fat Cat and they will start demolishing opposition packs – sadly we’ll have to keep waiting until the last few rounds and a players forum before an obvious selection decision gets made.

          There has been concern that Timani might not be fit enough, if that is so start him and have him go until he is out of petrol and then sub him. Don’t leave him on the bench while you try and get him fit during the week. There is nothing like match fitness so get him out there.

        • March 23rd 2012 @ 4:39pm
          granville said | March 23rd 2012 @ 4:39pm | ! Report

          Timani killed his chances against Samoa last year when him and the rest of the pack went hiding, he has everything to become a dominant force but its up to him.

          • Roar Guru

            March 23rd 2012 @ 5:15pm
            jeznez said | March 23rd 2012 @ 5:15pm | ! Report

            granville, we are debating Timani v Mumm in a head to head selection battle.

            Based on Super Rugby performances over the last two years. Who do you prefer in the second row out of Timani and Mumm? I don’t think the Samoa game is relevant to the discussion as Mumm wasn’t in it.

            • March 25th 2012 @ 9:07pm
              granville said | March 25th 2012 @ 9:07pm | ! Report

              ok so in that discussion i would pick Timani over Mumm any day……..

    • March 23rd 2012 @ 9:52am
      Tim said | March 23rd 2012 @ 9:52am | ! Report

      Hopefully the Tah’s lose again. The only prospect of change is if the results get even more diabolical.

      As a Tah’s fan I am prepared to take a season or two of losses and ever declining attendances if at the end of the process the rotten culture at the Tahs is swept away. Am praying for a phoenix like rise from the ashes with glorious running rugby and an organisation I can be proud of at the end of this all.

    • March 23rd 2012 @ 10:09am
      Amused said | March 23rd 2012 @ 10:09am | ! Report

      Sarel to the bench? He has been one of our best players…..to sub in mckibbin because of his kicking? great plan…

      /ironic eye roll

      way to lose there Foley and NSW.

      I am a NSW supporter and can see you this going down in flames…….

      and you wonder why people death ride NSW…..???

      • March 23rd 2012 @ 10:21am
        jameswm said | March 23rd 2012 @ 10:21am | ! Report

        Sarel’s injured, or at least battered and bruised – they’re giving him a break. Fair enough on that one.

        • March 23rd 2012 @ 4:16pm
          jeznez said | March 23rd 2012 @ 4:16pm | ! Report

          Most of the commentary I’ve heard has McKibbin being selected in order to take over the kicking duties. Any SU blokes here who can comment on Bernard Foley – he is a kicker isn’t he?

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