Waratahs get Super season back on track

By Ben Horne,

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51 Have your say

    NSW captain Benn Robinson said his side’s thrilling come-from-behind 34-30 victory over the Sharks on Saturday proved the Waratahs are still alive and kicking this Super Rugby season.

    With their backs to the wall after an embarrassing loss to the Western Force last week, the Waratahs avoided their worst-ever start to a Super campaign thanks to a late surge that resulted in winger Tom Kingston scoring with five minutes remaining in front of 18,830 appreciative fans at Allianz Stadium.

    A fired-up Tom Carter forced his way over in the 58th minute, to go with an earlier try to Bernard Foley, giving the Waratahs the lead for the first time in the match.

    But again the Waratahs were left staring down the barrel of a heartbreaking defeat when Sharks No.10 Patrick Lambie booted his side ahead 30-27 with penalties in the 63rd and 71st minutes.

    However, this time the Waratahs found something extra. And a destructive run from lock Dean Mumm, where he spectacularly fended off a couple of would-be defenders, laid the foundation for Kingston’s clincher.

    Robinson, in his first-ever match as a captain said the Waratahs showed the fighting qualities that can reinvigorate their chances in the Australian Conference.

    “I think history has shown with this side that when the chips are down we really do stand up and we get together and we play for each other,” Robinson said.

    “I mentioned it to the boys before the game, we want to go out there and stand by each other and play for each other and 1-22 all players stood up tonight and made a real impact and that’s what we want.

    “I got the boys together with about three minutes on the clock left and I said ‘let’s give it all we can.'”

    Unlike last week’s disjointed effort against the Force, the Waratahs backed themselves with the ball in the rare Saturday sunshine, and scored four tries to claim a bonus point in their second win for the year.

    Halfback Brendan McKibbin was outstanding in his first-ever match in the run-on side – scoring a smart first-half try and kicking five goals from as many attempts.

    McKibbin will be hard to drop for next week’s clash in Hamilton against the Chiefs, even with star South African recruit Sarel Pretorius coming from the bench to contribute strongly in the dying minutes.

    Coach Michael Foley finally has what he wanted – selection headaches and a team which showed they can play for 80 minutes.

    “I thought he (McKibbin) was ever present … I thought some of his decision making was superb, he really played off the back of momentum and then created it at times himself,” said Foley.

    “It’s been a tough week but the credit tonight for that result has to go 100 per cent to the players.

    “At the end of last weekend everybody was extremely disappointed in the change room, and there was a lot of pressure on the team particularly on the players to perform today.

    “There was even pressure within that game that could have easily pulled us apart … but we stayed to what we said we were going to do and I think that’s a massive wrap for them.”

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    The Crowd Says (51)

    • March 25th 2012 @ 8:39am
      mikeylives said | March 25th 2012 @ 8:39am | ! Report

      Barnes knows what to do at 10. I would be happier with the Tahs if I hadn’t see Qld destroyed by the Bulls this morning. That is the benchmark of intensity that we have to aim for. The Bulls front and back rows were vicious and they played the game at an incredible pace (Qld will struggle without a number 10 up to super level).
      Well done Tahs for showing some ticker though and hopefully B. Robinson can go to another level as captain.

      • March 25th 2012 @ 7:43pm
        granville said | March 25th 2012 @ 7:43pm | ! Report

        speaking of the Reds, there pack was embarrassing, hopeless, gutless, soft and no desire to play including the Wallabies Captain, there defense was very very embarrassing, we cannot blame the injuries because they had all the time to strengthen there squad in the off season, i tip my hat to the defensive efforts of Lance, if the Wallabies were to be selected this week none of those Reds players would be included and to Scott Higginbotham when you lose by that many the last thing to do is fight because you just made urself look like and ass. Genia has lost his mojo and Tapuai has shown us that he’s not a test player, great players shines when your back is against the wall but no one stood up except for Lance throwing himself infront of those bulldozing bulls, Shipperley played his heart out also

        • March 26th 2012 @ 5:30pm
          Redsforlife said | March 26th 2012 @ 5:30pm | ! Report

          Your comments are extremely negative and I have recorded the match and cannot see any instance at the end when you have commented on Scott Higginbotham starting a fight. There is no evidence of this and for you to label him an ass is ridiculous.

          Sure the reds did it tough on the weekend but you need to chill out. Sport is made up of winners and loosers and you cannot expect any team to simply win everything.

          Although a mass of injuries is not an excuse it is certainly a factor.

          • March 27th 2012 @ 12:47am
            granville said | March 27th 2012 @ 12:47am | ! Report

            i said ” the last thing to do is fight ”…………..i didnt say Scott starting a fight, Scott had a mouthful of words with the #6 and continued for a few seconds hence ” the last thing to do is fight’ ” and i DID NOT SAY ”SCOTT STARTING A FIGHT”, but it does makes a person look like an ass just like that NZ guy @ the Hong Kong 7s, time to get angry and nasty and fight is during the game, not after the whistle then you starting sledging your opponent who just given you and your team a mother of all beating, you he needs to do is get up accept the loss, be gracious in defeat, walk up to the #6 and acknowledge him and his team for a great game.

    • Roar Guru

      March 25th 2012 @ 8:50am
      Rabbitz said | March 25th 2012 @ 8:50am | ! Report

      I am sorry, but one gutsy display does not wipe away several seasons of lack-lustre, pea-hearted performance.

      If the Waratah’s display some character in every game from now on, they may win back some respect.

      The signs are not good however. What happened in the middle section of the game, when they were under increasing pressure? They reverted to type and kicked away all possession. Granted they woke up to themselves before it was too late, but I wouldn’t count on that ever happening again.

      I hope I am wrong, but history is on my side…

      Oh, and Benn Robinson and his fellow piggies need to stop bludging out in the back line. He cruelled at least two promising backline moves as he is too slow and too unskilled to take part in a move by the princesses. Keep it up and we will drum him out of the front-rowers club.

      • March 25th 2012 @ 9:11am
        soapit said | March 25th 2012 @ 9:11am | ! Report

        cheer up mate, they played great and we won. just enjoy the week.

    • March 25th 2012 @ 9:08am
      p.Tah said | March 25th 2012 @ 9:08am | ! Report

      A bit tough Rabbitz. Every team has areas for improvement, but they did incredibly well to come from behind and win that. It was a great game.

      This game and the Highlanders game have shown that the Tahs can play good positive rugby. I hope it continues.

      • Roar Guru

        March 25th 2012 @ 9:21am
        Rabbitz said | March 25th 2012 @ 9:21am | ! Report

        Not tough at all.

        It has taken them several seasons to ‘front up’, so they are either to dumb too see what was going on – which I doubt given the column inches they have generated on the subject or they genuinely are inept and have no ticker.

        So in my book, one swallow does not make a summer, let them prove that this wasn’t a fluke, because it certainly runs against their form. The test will be how committed they are to this type of (winning) rugby or will they revert to their unthinking, brain-dead, kick possession away and don’t commit to the contest selves.

    • March 25th 2012 @ 9:10am
      rabbitfan said | March 25th 2012 @ 9:10am | ! Report

      Whoever it was that got the message through to Foley to finally tell his charges to run it not kick it needs to be given a knighthood, couple of stupid kicks at the end however ball in hand can lead to bonus points…. dah

    • March 25th 2012 @ 9:11am
      nickoldschool said | March 25th 2012 @ 9:11am | ! Report

      Do we, rugby fans, really want loud music at every break in the game? Its becoming ridiculous and unbearable to have to listen to short, loud snippets of music before line-outs, scrums etc…I can tolerate that at HT or even during longer injury-breaks(do we have a choice…) but, come on, just before a line-out, penalty or a scrum!!! How disrespectful to the players too. would love to know how many of the 18000 who were present yesterday actually enjoy this.

      • March 25th 2012 @ 9:12am
        soapit said | March 25th 2012 @ 9:12am | ! Report

        i dont

        • March 25th 2012 @ 10:02am
          Paul. said | March 25th 2012 @ 10:02am | ! Report

          Yeah it is annoying.

        • March 25th 2012 @ 2:29pm
          Hannibal said | March 25th 2012 @ 2:29pm | ! Report

          I do. God knows the last thing the team needs is an even quieter crowd.

      • March 25th 2012 @ 10:03am
        MikeN said | March 25th 2012 @ 10:03am | ! Report

        If they only catered for old school patrons there would be a declining crowd each year as the old school marched off into the sunset.
        I am all for jazzing up the entertainment value of going to football and I threw away my elbow patched coat years ago.

        • March 25th 2012 @ 10:16am
          Damo said | March 25th 2012 @ 10:16am | ! Report

          Aw Mike, you are so cool. Can we take it that it’s the dumb over use of over loud music that is bringing the crowds back?
          I for one am looking for your astute enlightenment.

          • March 25th 2012 @ 10:25am
            MikeN said | March 25th 2012 @ 10:25am | ! Report

            No it is not bringing them back, but the short attention span of the youth of today it will contribute to the atmosphere that will keep them comming back. My sons get bored with even 30 seconds of ‘dead air’ as do most of their friends and the children of my friends. They love things going on constantly. My sons are 21 and 19 now and this is still the case.
            The son of one of my friends is a very good rugby player but goes to league matches as he says rugby matches are boring. He is 16.

            • March 25th 2012 @ 10:59am
              soapit said | March 25th 2012 @ 10:59am | ! Report

              how do your kids go in general society with not being able to cope with more than 30s of inactivity.

              waiting to cross at traffic lights must be a bit tense.

              • March 25th 2012 @ 3:33pm
                Boonzie said | March 25th 2012 @ 3:33pm | ! Report

                * chuckle *

              • March 25th 2012 @ 3:59pm
                p.Tah said | March 25th 2012 @ 3:59pm | ! Report

                They have iPhones to keep them entertained.

                I was in a bar recently when a group in their late teens sat at the next table and then spent the following 2 hours on their phones. They actually didnt speak to each other. I thought why did you come out with this group if you wanted to talk to others and why did you bother coming to a bar to do it?

      • March 25th 2012 @ 10:23am
        charles said | March 25th 2012 @ 10:23am | ! Report

        • March 25th 2012 @ 10:30am
          MikeN said | March 25th 2012 @ 10:30am | ! Report

          Hey you guys, what about taking a ‘cone of silence’ with you?
          The game has to look to its future

          • March 25th 2012 @ 2:51pm
            Katipo said | March 25th 2012 @ 2:51pm | ! Report

            The loud music is one of the reasons I have stopped going to ‘Tahs matches. Traditionally I like to yell and scream and make noise during the breaks. Maybe start a cheer or song or heckle the crowd. And also talk with my friends about the match itself. The breaks are a good opportunity to discuss the game. But I can’t be heard over the rock music which in my opinion destroys the atmosphere that the crowd should create on its own.

            It’s not about age or ‘the future’ that’s complete nonsense. I actually love music, and go to concerts for that, but not at rugby games please. I go to rugby games to watch and enjoy rugby. The loud music diminishes my enjoyment. Simple. Stop the music. Start the rugby! Listen to the fans. Wasn’t it great to see a match played during daylight. And look at the quality of the game – vastly improved when the players can see properly and the ball is dry!

            • March 26th 2012 @ 11:40pm
              charles said | March 26th 2012 @ 11:40pm | ! Report

              Utterly agree, Katipo. See my post below.

              Memo Tahs admin: You CAN stop the music. If the game doesn,t have enough tension, loud music doesn’t add any entertainment value whatsoever.

    • March 25th 2012 @ 9:40am
      Joe said | March 25th 2012 @ 9:40am | ! Report

      Good win but lets not get carried away.

      On another note how much of a twit is tom carter? the fist pumps are one thing but he always seems to be the 2nd man in when there is a little niggle.

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      • March 25th 2012 @ 11:08am
        mikeylives said | March 25th 2012 @ 11:08am | ! Report

        Tom Carter is a team man that wears his heart on his sleeve. At times he acts like a douche, but if more of the Tahs had the same passion, we would be a better team.

      • March 25th 2012 @ 11:33am
        Albo said | March 25th 2012 @ 11:33am | ! Report

        I agree with Mikey. He plays with a level of intensity and passion that is missing from a lot of players. Yes he doesn’t do any favours by carrying on but the team loves him and he can get them rallying. He’s the first one to pump them up and keep talking (a trait that I don’t see any of in Robinson unfortunately).

        I’m happy to put up with his douchiness if he puts in performances like that.

        • March 25th 2012 @ 2:04pm
          Big Steve said | March 25th 2012 @ 2:04pm | ! Report

          Agree as well. i thought cadter was one of the best on the field yesterday he always puts in and his defence is solid. he did alot of cleaning up yesterday taking the ball into traffic when it was spilt or they ran out of ideas. it was great to hear the biggest cheer of the day when he scored.

      • March 25th 2012 @ 3:27pm
        Tahman said | March 25th 2012 @ 3:27pm | ! Report

        Credit where credit is due don’t you think mr negative?

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