Weather woeful, Waratahs worse
120 Have your say
The Hurricanes blew away the Waratahs last night AAP Image/Paul Miller
Only Berrick Barnes’ trusty boot gave the Waratahs any respectability in the 33-12 loss to the Hurricanes at a wet and miserable Allianz Stadium last night.
The men-in-blue should have been wearing black in mourning over the death of the Waratahs, once the pride and joy of Australian rugby.
Hardly the way to “celebrate” the 100th Super game at the venue by:
* Losing 10 games in a season for the first time.
* Losing six in a row for the first time.
* Losing three in a row at Allianz Stadium for the first time.
* Losing to the Hurricanes for the first time at Allianz.
* And losing to the Hurricanes for the first time since 2006.
Once the fortress of NSW rugby, where the Waratahs were virtually unbeatable, the walls are crumbling down.
Yet there are 11 Waratahs in the Wallaby train-on squad of 39. Go figure.
The Waratah talent is undeniable. But they are individuals, they have lost the ability to combine their talents in a team effort.
That’s the reason why the Waratahs have lost seven of their 10 games by less than seven points – three of them by a point.
Proving they are competitive, but can’t close.
Only David Dennis and Kane Douglas played their hearts out up front last night, with Tatafu Polota-Nau chiming in occasionally.
Out the back Bernard Foley, Drew Mitchell, and Tom Kingston made some eye-catching runs, with Barnes trying desperately hard to get the backline moving.
But nothing was clicking.
The overall picture was one of lost chances with the Waratahs creating six tries and scoring none, while the Hurricanes converted all four try scoring opportunities, the last on the full-time hooter for the vital bonus point that didn’t do the Queensland Reds any favours.
The Waratahs showed the way with knock-ons, over-running the ball carrier, and turnovers – elementary rugby – all at critical times. Patience was replaced by panic costing those six try-scoring opportunities.
It may seem an odd thing to say with a scoreline of 33-12, but the Waratahs should have won this game. At the 64-minute mark the Waratahs were right in it with the Hurricanes leading 16-12. All the men-in-blue had to do was convert their point-scoring opportunities.
But the opposite happened with the Hurricanes piling on three tries and 17 points in the last 16 minutes, mostly against the run of play. Game, set, and match.
There’s the difference between the two sides. The Hurricanes, with only three All Blacks, have scored the highest number of points in the tournament with 438, plus 56 over points against. The Waratahs, with seven Wallabies, have scored just 316, minus 40 below points against.
Beleaguered Waratahs coach Michael Foley rued the missed chances, adding – “We are the masters of our own destiny”.
How true. But substituting pupils for masters would be more appropriate.
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