Michael Cheika believes tonight’s game versus the Reds are the last opportunity for his Waratah players to impress newly appointed Wallaby coach Ewen McKenzie. Join us for live updates from 7.40pm AEST.
The season for the Waratahs is over as they can no longer make the Super Rugby play offs, but there is no shortage of motivation for NSW as this game is the last Berrick Barnes will play for the Waratahs before he takes an 18 month sabbatical to Japan.
The Reds can no longer catch the Brumbies at the top of the Australian conference.
Being five points behind, even a bonus point win over the Waratahs would mean they still have the issue of a points difference deficit to the Brumbies.
The Reds have to decide whether they want to play the Crusaders in Christchurch or the Brumbies in Canberra; I know which one I would prefer.
The Crusaders are currently the red hot team in the competition, having thumped the defending champion Chiefs last weekend.
The question is, what do the Reds want to do? If they drop the game it means the Brumbies, but it also means momentum lost.
Win and they travel to New Zealand.
The Waratahs will want to play for pride. It’s been another ‘almost’ season for them – they started poorly and took a number of rounds to hit their stride before having a number of impressive wins on tour, notably the 70-odd point thrashing of the Kings in Port Elizabeth which announced the arrival of Israel Folau.
Ultimately, this match is purely for entertainment purposes and we should see some good play.
The Reds will be without the services of Will Genia, the Waratahs lacking Folau.
My tip, Waratahs by seven.