The Waratahs are well on the mend, but Brendan McKibbin’s service is holding them back. They’ve been playing some enterprising football of late, only to be let down at the death by poor execution.
They’ve arguably got the best backline in the competition, featuring the likes of Ashley-Cooper, Drew Mitchell, Rob Horne, Israel Folau and Peter Betham.
Even Foley is starting to fire with darting runs up the middle – finding some of the form that bore him the fruits of success last year.
But unfortunately, our halfback still isn’t delivering.
And it’s specifically his delivery that’s the problem.
The slow ball and inaccurate passing are debilitating the entire backline. Players that should be in space are stopped the wrong side of the advantage line instead of benefiting from scrambling defence.
It’s obvious that if the Waratahs want to start winning consistently they need a new halfback, and Matt Lucas fits the mould perfectly.
Cheika constantly speaks of performance over reputation. So why is Lucas still on the bench?
Every time he’s injected into the game, the backline starts to click. And the Waratahs diehards start to cheer.
He clears the ruck quickly, gives players ball to run onto, and keeps defences guessing with sniping runs around the fringes.
By keeping opposition in tight honest, and clearing the breakdown quickly, the outside backs are getting room to move.
And when the Waratahs backline starts to get some space, there won’t be many in the competition that can stop them.
So please Cheika, have a hard look at McKibbin. Give Lucas the chance he’s earned.
The Waratahs faithful deserve it!