Waratahs booed off the park after loss with Force

David Lord Columnist

By David Lord, David Lord is a Roar Expert

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    NSW Waratahs coach Michael Foley and his selectors had better take a long hard look in the mirror and ask themselves two questions.

    How can the rank-outsiders Western Force beat them for the first time 21-20 at Allianz Stadium last night when the Waratahs are at least a 25 percent better side on a man-for-man basis?

    And how come David Harvey, an Australian Sevens rep and two-time Ken Catchpole Medal winner in 2008 and 2011 right under the selector’s noses has never been offered a contract, not even a trial, but ended up debuting for the Force last night at 29-years-of-age, contributing 16 of the 21 points with a converted try, and three penalties?

    Not taking anything away from the David Pocock superbly led Force, with evergreen lock Nathan Sharpe turning in a blinder – it was a pathetic performance from the men in blue.

    One win from four games is the worst start in a Super tournament since 1997. Diehard supporters will claim the Waratahs have been unlucky to lose by a point to both the Highlanders and the Force, and beaten by a runaway 75m try in the 80th minute by Reds winger Dom Shipperly.

    The scorelines are correct. Unlucky, definitely not.

    The runaway try was the result of dumb rugby, kicking away possession with less than a minute on the clock. In both the one-point losses, the Waratahs simply didn’t turn up to play.

    Last night, with a six-man Wallaby pack, the Waratahs managed just 24 percent possession in the first half, and were only camped in the opposition half for 36 percent of the time. The pack was dead in the water.

    Yet the Waratahs led 14-13 at the break with two converted tries, which just goes to prove what the Waratahs can do with their hands on the ball. All of the Force’s 13 points were from full-back David Harvey.

    That wouldn’t have surprised Gordon supporters. Harvey was the club’s fly-half who has led the Shute Shield season points-scorers four times, and one year was the Shield’s leading try-scorer.

    No surprise to the Harvey family either, David is a nephew of Neil Harvey, one of the world’s greatest left-handed batsmen, an Invincible, and a superb fieldsmen.

    The sporting genes are there.

    So let’s ask again – where were the NSW selectors when Harvey was firing?

    They should be busy this week, after last night’s shock loss. Too many Waratahs are feeling comfortably safe in their positions – they need a rocket.

    So too coach Foley. He must be quizzed as to why Waratah intensity dropped when second half possession increased. And quizzed why the increased possession was butchered by poor options, poor handling, and far too much kicking.

    Waratah watchers have come to realise the side doesn’t respect possession enough.

    That’s why the paltry number of 14,673 spectators last night booed the Waratahs off the ground.

    And they deserved it.

    David Lord
    David Lord

    David Lord was deeply involved in two of the biggest sporting stories - World Series Cricket in 1977 and professional rugby in 1983. After managing Jeff Thomson and Viv Richards during WSC, in 1983 David signed 208 of the best rugby players from Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and France to play an international pro circuit. The concept didn?t get off the ground, but it did force the IRB to get cracking and bring in the World Rugby Cup, now one of the world?s great sporting spectacles

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    The Crowd Says (59)

    • March 18th 2012 @ 12:03pm
      johnny-boy said | March 18th 2012 @ 12:03pm | ! Report

      Somebody needs to take TPN out the back and slap him round the chops for his disgraceful insult to fans telling them he doesnt care what they think, they are going to kick it regardless. The Tahs are on the highway to hell if that is their players atttitude. Unbeleivable.

      • March 18th 2012 @ 1:51pm
        Pierce said | March 18th 2012 @ 1:51pm | ! Report

        And his throwing to the lineout continues to be a liability

      • March 19th 2012 @ 2:20am
        ManSter said | March 19th 2012 @ 2:20am | ! Report

        6-7 injuries are enough to cripple any team why can everyone not be a little bit more sensible.

        I know, lets hunt down the injured tah’s and boo outside their home addresses during all tah games.

        Lets come to your work today and boo you every-time you do not make perfect split second decisions.

        And kiwi crowds at the last cup are boo-ing idiots? I think we are witnessing a new level of stupidity.

        Did anyone notice the Roosters crowd booing every play vs Canberra yesterday and yet the chickens won!

        Must be free lobotomies at Bronte for only the first 4 million clients.

        • March 19th 2012 @ 2:41am
          ManSter said | March 19th 2012 @ 2:41am | ! Report

          Oh!!! i forget we must quickly hang, draw and quarter the coach, preferably with hot utensils…

          Then we can move on to blaming the ARU followed by our immediate international neighbors.

        • March 19th 2012 @ 5:24am
          mania said | March 19th 2012 @ 5:24am | ! Report

          manSter – ok the booing of quade by kiwi’s at the WC was childish…but in their defence it was asked for by quade and the fact that it got to him shows that it was a winning tactic. its unfortunate that quade couldnt rise to the booing as he had led the NZ public to believe. we were just trying to lift a kiwi brothers game

          • March 19th 2012 @ 11:01am
            johnny-boy said | March 19th 2012 @ 11:01am | ! Report

            It wasnt the booing that got to him mania , although kiwis like to think it was …..it was the wrong game plans as cooper has said himself

            • March 19th 2012 @ 12:16pm
              drop kick said | March 19th 2012 @ 12:16pm | ! Report

              it was his inept play that got to him
              I mean an intercept pass in every game, kicks out on the full from kick offs, passing to no-one( his “miracle” pass). The game plan didn’t make him play like that.

          • March 19th 2012 @ 3:18pm
            Sprigs said | March 19th 2012 @ 3:18pm | ! Report

            Most NZers know that the continual booing was shameful.

    • March 18th 2012 @ 12:23pm
      hog said | March 18th 2012 @ 12:23pm | ! Report

      You have to be worried that only 14 thousand turned out last night and can you really blame them, and they will probably get 50 thousand next weekend to swans vs giants(afl) in so called rugby heartland, i hate playing with the rules but without have to commit men to the breakdown most defensive lines now look like fort knox.
      A recent post mentioned a trial in SA where tries 5 points, conv 3 points and penalties and drop goals 2 points maybe worth a look at.
      Rugby has to do something to make the game more attractive for the fans.

      • March 18th 2012 @ 12:28pm
        Bakkies said | March 18th 2012 @ 12:28pm | ! Report

        Why does Rugby have to change to make NSW happy. It’s doing fine everywhere else. Sydney just has the most fickle sports fans in Australia.

        • March 18th 2012 @ 12:46pm
          Samvandamn said | March 18th 2012 @ 12:46pm | ! Report

          Totally agree with Bakkies, you think world wide Rugby should change to make Sydney fans happy?
          Maybe AFL should change to accommodate the rest of the world because no one outside of Australia knows or cares whats happening in that game.

          • March 18th 2012 @ 12:54pm
            Ian Whitchurch said | March 18th 2012 @ 12:54pm | ! Report

            The incompetance of rugby union administration in Australia is deep seated and over many decades.

            I am absolutely convenced that GWS getting a higher average crowd than the NSW Waratahs will do nothing to change this.

        • March 18th 2012 @ 3:01pm
          Nico'larse said | March 18th 2012 @ 3:01pm | ! Report

          Bakkies, I’m a long suffering Tahs fan and always will be (as painful as it is). I can say without question that I prefer to watch a NZ derby any day of the week and twice in Sundays. And it’s largely because they play with more heart and better skills and hence it’s better toa watch.

          I was tempted to jump on the Reds bandwagon last year… But whether I like it or not, I’m a Tahs fan and I have to suffer this pain.

          Personally, I believe they could be much better if they focused all their energy at training etc on just two things:

          1) have some faith in running the ball and actually taking on the defensive line by committing to the contact. I don’t know
          how many times it needs to be said, but if you are continually kicking possession away then you are next to no chance of winning the game. Kingston and Foley look promising and AAC while past his best is no slouch either. Give these guys a chance to run and if balls are kicked in attacking raids…. then start removing fingernails with pliers for each occasion until they get the message it’s not on.

          2) the second point is play with conviction every week. They gave 100% against the Highlanders so why not against the Force? There’s no excuse for lack luster effort.

          In summary, just have a go and stop kicking precious possession away…. and I reckon they’ll surprise themselves at how effective they could be.

          Not one mention from anybody about that in post match interviews last night. They are just indoctrinated to protect this
          ‘attacking kicking’ strategy and they will all die by that sword if it continues unabated.

          • March 18th 2012 @ 8:23pm
            Bakkies said | March 18th 2012 @ 8:23pm | ! Report

            The Brumbies went through several lows last year and we all know about the Reds issues. With regards to the Waratahs the problem is that they have never had a good flyhalf. There is a severe lack of good kickers in Australian rugby. To play field position you need to put the ball out or in to the corner, not up field for the opposition back three to run at you. The fans can’t dictate how the team should play pro sport doesn’t work like that, players need the right attitude. The Tahs used to get 30,000 plus when they played a similar style of Rugby under McKenzie so there must be something else wrong in the organisation. Their marketing was much stronger when he was coach and the players promoted the team.

            Barnes would be more suited to playing under Jake White at the Brumbies or at the Force behind a solid pack. I don’t agree that AAC is past it, he has been playing in struggling Super Rugby teams over the past two seasons. If the Tahs get back on track so will AAC. They both definitely have the potential to do so.

      • March 18th 2012 @ 6:25pm
        Steve.H said | March 18th 2012 @ 6:25pm | ! Report

        Did you watch the Rebels Cheetahs match, now that’s what rugby can offer if you just have the correct attitude. Great game

        • March 18th 2012 @ 6:33pm
          granville said | March 18th 2012 @ 6:33pm | ! Report

          agree with u, its was an exciting game to watch

        • March 18th 2012 @ 6:58pm
          Nicol'arse said | March 18th 2012 @ 6:58pm | ! Report

          Yep agree. And don’t those Melbournians get behind their team?

          I’m a loyal Tahs supporter and I’ll never ‘cross the floor’… but I decided last year that enough was enough and I wasn’t prepared to part with my hard earned $ to go out to the SFS every home game because the atmosphere at the game was rubbish and I often left feeling rather empty & disappointed.

          I realised halfway through the Rebels match today that I actually prefer watching them than the Tahs. And I reckon I’m not the only one as the poor crowd numbers prove.

          Bakkies might reckon we’re fickle… but I disagree. I’m not going to change camps (that’s loyalty). But I’m not going to pay (anything on top of my Fox subscription) to go out and support the tripe they’ve been serving up either. Its just too disappointing. If that makes me fickle then so be it. I just reckon it makes me not stupid.

    • March 18th 2012 @ 2:23pm
      kingplaymaker said | March 18th 2012 @ 2:23pm | ! Report

      Ian they are inept and clearly don’t take the matter remotely seriously.

      I wonder whether Foley was really qualified to become coach of one of Australia’s top two franchises. If you look to Europe, three Australians, Michael Cheika, Steve Meehan and Brian Smith have all had good success and could have been hired for the post, so why chose an unproven insider? Surely all three of those would do better than Foley and Hickey did for that matter.

      • March 19th 2012 @ 12:00am
        harry said | March 19th 2012 @ 12:00am | ! Report

        top 2 franchises? in terms of super rugby success the tahs are behind the brumbies and the reds.

        • March 19th 2012 @ 10:36am
          jameswm said | March 19th 2012 @ 10:36am | ! Report

          Not in the last 8 years.

    • March 18th 2012 @ 2:26pm
      tc said | March 18th 2012 @ 2:26pm | ! Report

      I’m a kiwi so please don’t shoot me for my opinion ,but my two cents worth is that I am glad the Waratahs are losing because if that style of play is the future of rugby then this is one diehard rugby nut who will be turning to league and never looking back . While I was watching the game last night the first thing I thought was the Force have been studying the Highlanders and I was loving it ,all they needed was a couple of good sprinters and that game would have blown out . The Waratahs on paper have the players so it must be the culture thats the problem .
      As for rugby being a far inferior sport to other codes like some on here are insinuating ,what a load of tripe, yes New Zealand is leading the way but the Australian teams are catching up quickly ,the fans in New Zealand are loving the close games even if the scores are lowish .The baby Brumbies are playing well and the Force and Rebels play with heart which is what people want to see, then there’s the Reds ,well are they not the defending champs. Stop knocking yourselves rugby has come a long way in Australia since the pro era came in ,and just as a side issue I wander if rugby is starting to slowly shift away from its Sydney-centric base and become more national.

      • March 18th 2012 @ 2:42pm
        27incher said | March 18th 2012 @ 2:42pm | ! Report

        I gotta agree with tc here, the Waratahs definitely do not play the game of rugby that we want.

        Also, how come the Waratahs never noticed Dave Harvey?
        What kind of scout passes the opportunity to sign a two time Ken Catchpole medallist?
        Nonetheless, a great performance from the Force, it’s always good to see Nathan Sharpe and David Pocock in action against a much stronger line up on paper.

        • March 18th 2012 @ 6:21pm
          Emric said | March 18th 2012 @ 6:21pm | ! Report

          I’m hoping that western force start allowing James Stannard to control and play his natural game. If they give him a game plan and let him run the game as he see’s fit I think he will surprise many.

          Perhaps a new wallaby in the future?

      • March 18th 2012 @ 9:36pm
        Enron said | March 18th 2012 @ 9:36pm | ! Report

        Interesting comments.. agreed. What I really dont get about NSW, is that they have the majority of rugby players in this country, probably more than all the rest combined (including QLD) and they continually seem to underachieve at provincial level.

        I recall their great amateur sides with Campese etc who were good enough to beat the Springboks in 1993, and prior to that they rolled Auckland one year (super six series) when Auckland had 13 of the 15 All Blacks in it…… I used to watch the Shute shield back in 2009… and was amazed at how good the standard of rugby was… but this is not translating to a strong NSW side???

        Maybe the Tahs should have a good look at the AFL… those guys are ruthless.. they draft kids at 17.. put them on a 3 year contract and if they arent good enough for first grade by age 20.. they get cut and sent home. Waratahs have a habit of picking 27 year olds to make their run on debut…. thats almost middle aged!!!!!!

    • March 18th 2012 @ 2:45pm
      Fat Man said | March 18th 2012 @ 2:45pm | ! Report

      i think its time for a second team in Sydney, With the countrys largest rugby comp under there noses the Waratahs are not able to take advatage of. There must be plays with a lot more ticker running around in sydney. To only get 14673 people to the game in australias largest rugby city shows that someing is going wrong. Start a new team and give long suffering rugby fans in Sydney something exicing to suport. I wouldent be suprised if there are a lot of rugby poeple suporting league in sydney that would come out of the wood work and suport a new team.

      • March 18th 2012 @ 3:06pm
        Nico'larse said | March 18th 2012 @ 3:06pm | ! Report

        We don’t need another team. We just need the Tahs to stand up and play with heart consistently and seriously question what’s wrong with running the ball more often instead of always kicking the ball away (even when they make a clear line break)!!

    • March 18th 2012 @ 3:27pm
      Snobby Deans said | March 18th 2012 @ 3:27pm | ! Report

      Why would the tahs notice Dave Harvey? Champion players like Tom Carter are more their style . . . . and yes, that was said tongue-in-cheek.

      The coaches come and go in tah-land, yet things don’t really change. It has to be endemic in their set-up and administration, but the tossers there aren’t going to pitch themselves out the door just to satisfy the average Freddy Fan. I’m sure they’ll just hold another Fan Forum and then pay lip service to what they hear.

      Perhaps there needs to be anti-Flash Mob organised for the tahs- have everyone stay away from a game or two, get the attendance down to the low thousands, to really get the message across. If I was a tahs fan – and I thank the Almighty that I’m not – I’d have to think really long and hard as to why I am, and what needs to be done to get the team back up to where they could be in order for them to get my continued support (i.e., discretionary income)

      • March 18th 2012 @ 4:35pm
        Hansie said | March 18th 2012 @ 4:35pm | ! Report

        8 years of Tom Carter, not even a trial match for Harvey. Pretty much says it all about the Waratahs.

        • March 18th 2012 @ 6:06pm
          John Allyne said | March 18th 2012 @ 6:06pm | ! Report

          8 years more than you Hansie and a lot better person as well

          • March 18th 2012 @ 6:33pm
            soapit said | March 18th 2012 @ 6:33pm | ! Report

            being better than your average sports comment poster doesnt really mean he should be playing for his state now though does it.

            better toughen up if youre going to read comments about your mate, some of them may be frank in nature (and therefore not too flattering when comparing him to other professional rugby players).

            • March 18th 2012 @ 8:19pm
              Hansie said | March 18th 2012 @ 8:19pm | ! Report

              Yeah, if Carter’s best qualification is that he’s a better rugby player than me, he’s in trouble! And if playing Super Rugby is a pre-qualification to post on this website then Campo’s posts will be lonely!

        • March 19th 2012 @ 1:15pm
          PJ said | March 19th 2012 @ 1:15pm | ! Report

          Neck up Hansie you parrot, Carter would have to be close to the star performer for the Waratahs backs over the past 3 seasons. Can some one tell me what Rob Horne does other than get injured? the most overrated S15 player of the last 10 years. Give me Carter any day

          • March 19th 2012 @ 7:03pm
            Hansie said | March 19th 2012 @ 7:03pm | ! Report

            Sheesh, the Tom Carter Fan Club is obviously full of sensitive types.

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