Where to now for the Waratahs?
2012 is yet another annus horribilis for the Waratahs. It started off badly, when Kurtley Beale was snatched from right under their noses.
It was then compounded by the swapping of Ben Mowen for Rocky Elsom (and making him captain when was clearly unfit to play).
The pre-season injury disasters of Turner and Mitchell exposed the Waratahs’ lack of quality backups out wide, which is being shown up more as the season progresses.
Carter’s brain explosion in round one against the Reds robbed the Waratahs not only of points but valuable momentum.
Jaco Peyper incorrect no-try decision against Tatafu Polota-Naus in the same game didn’t help.
The Waratahs didn’t even show up to play against the Western Force in Sydney in round four
A more courageous defensive effort against Robbie Fruean in round one would have won them the Crusaders game.
The Waratahs’ performance against the Brumbies in the last round was inexplicable.
In summary, the loss of Beale reveals poor player management and the trade of Mowen for Elsom shows poor recruiting.
Carter’s actions against Reds exemplified their poor on-field decision making, the Western Force game highlighted their poor preparation and attitude and the Brumbies game revealed their poor tactics and strategies.
Each round presents a new opportunity to get something wrong.
Year after year, there is a similar story to be told.
In a recent article, Spiro Zavos suggested that the Waratahs’ “entitlement culture” was at the root of the problem.
In contrast we have seen what Jake White has done with the Brumbies in taking on a Brumby “entitlement culture” and astutely recruiting a captain (Mowen) from outside of the organisation.
To his credit the Brumbies are now leading the Australian conference with a young team of virtual no-names.
The Waratah tradition (which has won nothing in the professional era) and its related entitlement culture needs to be cleaned out.
Until Foley, or his replacement, are bold enough to take this step nothing will change.
Foley is in the first year of his contract. It is time for him to clear the decks for 2013 and steer the Waratahs to a new unencumbered direction, free of entitlement and self serving agendas.
White has shown that it can be done; now it is up to Foley to see if he can do the same.
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