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 @ 3:36pm
      rebelyell said | March 18th 2012 @ 3:36pm | ! Report

      The real problem with the tahs is its administrators, the NSWRU, the same dimwits that pushed John O’Neil out of his job in 2003. The players are doing their best.

      When are they going to allow Kevin Maloney (or anyone else with enough spare coin) to privatise the tahs so the admin can be cleaned out ??

    • March 18th 2012 @ 3:36pm
      Crashy said | March 18th 2012 @ 3:36pm | ! Report

      Can I just mention that it was bucketing down all day in Sydney so the crowd reflects that plus the force aren’t exactly known to draw a crowd. It was the biggest crowd of the night across league, a league and union in Aus. Tags need to sort themselves out as they are shocking at home on a wet deck.

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

        As you wish to compare Crashy,both the league games played in Qld and involved in the case of the Cowboys almost monsoon conditions ALL WEEK (no cover)and rain on the Gc for the Titans and that was during both matches.Both no doubt poor crowds but comparing a state team please..
        Stop making excuses ,if they played a Qld reds style of football they would draw more. 14,000 plus for the whole state is not a good look.If fans boo their own team,they have reaL PROBLEMS.

        • March 18th 2012 @ 8:46pm
          Blinky Bill of Bellingen said | March 18th 2012 @ 8:46pm | ! Report

          Yes Crosscoder but you forget these are Sydney people. Discomfort? Forget it!!!

    • March 18th 2012 @ 3:57pm
      mortimer Turdthumper said | March 18th 2012 @ 3:57pm | ! Report

      i must say that the charge of arrogance leveled at the Waratahs administration and to a lesser extent the players must also be leveled at Rugby journalists who continuously bombard long suffering fans from all over Australia how magnificent the Waratahs are going to be. For David Lord to suggest the Tahs are a 25%better team on paper is his biased opinion only and smacks of arrogance.No coincidence the Reds resurgence occured post Berick Barnes and the recruitment of Elsom for Mowen was dumb.FinallySydney would have to be the boo capital of the sporting world which makes happy to be not living amongst such bad sportspeople.
      t

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

      foley was a terrible choice..
      hangers is a bench player at best.. but his the starting 10 and captain..what a joke a good club player but not up to standard and never has been over many many years.
      why did they buy AAC and then stick him on the wing?..come on get him into position where he plays for his country for christ sake.. terrible terrible tactica, player selection etc etc

      • March 18th 2012 @ 6:47pm
        mikeylives said | March 18th 2012 @ 6:47pm | ! Report

        I assume u mean the coach and not the player Foley. Foley the fullback is a quality player and only a kid.
        AAC is past his best, but he should get a run-on instead of Horne at 13. Horne who is too eager in defence – and therefore missing the odd tackle – , not making breaks and is not heavy enough to bend the line.
        Kicking the ball for touch when the opposition is scrambling in defence is schoolboy.
        Halangahu lacked composure and the forwards got spanked.

      • March 18th 2012 @ 6:53pm
        Paul. said | March 18th 2012 @ 6:53pm | ! Report

        Your right, it happens every year, Halangahu plays well for a few weeks, everyone gets excited, then he gets shown up as average. I just can’t imagine him leading NSW to a title. Barnes is our supposed class player, but he is playing a secondary role. Get AAC at inside, or if they are gonna use last nights game plan pick Tom Carter, no point in 2 ball players if the ain’t gonna play any balls!

        • March 18th 2012 @ 9:49pm
          Enron said | March 18th 2012 @ 9:49pm | ! Report

          Dude, you may have just summed up the problem… Halangahu is a great club player… but he has struggled to find consistency at S15 level… and I probably rate Carter in that bracket as well… when picking a guy, surely you ask yourself, would this guy get a game for a decent Kiwi or Bokke team? if not… why pick him? take a punt, pull some kid out of high school and see how he goes. NSW rugby union seems to be the only professional sporting franchise in Australia that doesnt do this.

          Horan , Little , Eales.. the list of young Australian champions proves my point… oh, hold the phone…. they were all Queenslanders 🙂

    • March 18th 2012 @ 4:33pm
      Daz said | March 18th 2012 @ 4:33pm | ! Report

      Wtf? Aren’t these guys supposed to be professionals? Ok, never even mind professional, what about tradesmanlike? If you went to a doctor and he completely misdiagnosed you and gave you the wrong prescription because he was having an off day, what would you think? If you hired a carpenter and he turned up half cut and without his tools you would fire him. All these guys have to do is concentrate for eighty minutes. Why is that so hard? The rest of us have to concentrate for a lot longer than that.

      • March 18th 2012 @ 8:43pm
        Blinky Bill of Bellingen said | March 18th 2012 @ 8:43pm | ! Report

        You make a fair point.

        If I wasn’t pledged to remaining positive I’d add a few things. 🙁

    • March 18th 2012 @ 4:55pm
      Onor said | March 18th 2012 @ 4:55pm | ! Report

      the highlanders hurricanes match was a good one!! the NZ style is getting so quick!! its fast like sevens
      and is so much better to watch than league!!

      • March 18th 2012 @ 6:38pm
        Steve.H said | March 18th 2012 @ 6:38pm | ! Report

        The great thing about rugby is the different styles which often reflects the different nations attitude towards the game. As much as you like the New Zealand style of rugby I prefer the straight hard running, try-and-destroy-everything-infront-of-you South African rugby. I think the issue is most Australian teams don’t play a style that comes naturally to them. Over coached by inept coaches not to take advantage of the dry Australian tracks. Australia has always been a smart and innovative rugby culture (having to constantly punch above its weight), that often out smarted teams with good tactical play but it seems that has disappeared somewhere.

        • March 18th 2012 @ 8:14pm
          Bakkies said | March 18th 2012 @ 8:14pm | ! Report

          I wouldn’t say the Canberra Stadium is a dry track. Night games in Autumn and Wiinter there is a lot of dew on the pitch. The Brumbies are getting the right attitude, the combinations will come later

      • March 19th 2012 @ 3:47pm
        Sprigs said | March 19th 2012 @ 3:47pm | ! Report

        I thought the Highlanders must have been on what they call “P” and we call “ice”…them TV coverage of them seems to be like those movies they speed up..

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