Wake up Waratahs, you’re embarrassing your fast-diminishing faithful

David Lord Columnist

By David Lord, David Lord is a Roar Expert

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75 Have your say

    It’s hard to come to grips with Michael Hooper’s Wallaby-laden Waratahs winning just two of seven Super Rugby games this season.

    How can a side that boasts around 10 Wallabies in the starting lineup every game play like a social side?.

    Remember what Hooper said after the South African leg when the Waratahs were thumped 92 points to 50 by the Lions and Sharks?

    “It’s been a successful tour on the training paddock” was the captain’s summary.


    Having fallen over the line against the Force in the opening round, those two defeats were the second and third rounds.

    Since then the woeful Waratahs have been beaten by the Brumbies, came from well behind to beat the Rebels, and have since been convincingly beaten by the Crusaders and Hurricanes.

    This week Nathan Grey, the former tough-tackling Wallaby centre, and currently the Waratahs’ defence coach, said, “It gets frustrating from our perspective because when they’re training the guys are doing well defensively and it’s quite strong.

    “But in game, whether it’s a little bit of lack of confidence and a lack of belief and a little bit of fear of failure, that creeps into the guys’ minds.”

    Bloody hell, that’s the second time the Waratahs have been quoted as performing well on the training paddock.

    Waratahs Super Rugby Rugby Union 2016

    How can so many quality footballers not take their training form into a game?

    How do they forget how to pass, catch, support, and tackle?

    Let’s look at the cold hard, but painful, truth:

    The Waratahs are the only franchise in 18 not to post a bonus point in seven games from either tries, or losing by seven points or less – not one bonus point.

    The Waratahs have scored 163 points for, and had 237 against for a deficit of 74 – pathetic.

    The Waratahs have scored 21 tries, 10th among 12th on the list among 18 franchises led by the Hurricanes with 48, but let in 31 tries, the sixth-worst.

    That’s an average of three tries a game for the Waratahs, but letting in 4.45 game.

    The Waratahs have turned over possession 135 times in seven games – an average of 20.14 a game.

    And to top off the miseries, the Waratahs have missed 182 tackles, or an average of 26 a game.

    There’s no hope in hell the Waratahs can beat any side with those stats.

    But they are lucky, they play the Kings tonight, who can’t beat time, and should never ahve been invited into the tournament last season.

    They will be gone for next season.

    Can the Waratahs run up a cricket score to roughly get back in the fight?

    Here’s a suggestion.

    If Waratah management put up photos of Waratah legends all around the Alliance dressing shed walls, that’s a start.

    Let’s have Ken Catchpole, Nick Farr-Jones, John Hipwell, Mark Ella, David Campese, Matt Burke, Jim Lenehan, Michael O’Connor, Michael Hawker, and Dick Tooth up there from the NSW backs of the past.

    And Jon White, Col Windon, Tony Daley, Phil Kearns, Ewen McKenzie, Topo Rodrigues, Peter Johnson, Rob Heming, Steve Cutler, Simon Poidevin, Phil Waugh, and Tim Gavin from up front.

    Perhaps the physical reminder of those who made the Waratahs one of the best provincial sides in world rugby might give the current crop the adrenalin they are obviously missing.

    Michael Hooper dropped this quote last night.

    “It’s really time to start kicking into gear.”

    At long last the captain has got the message, but can the troops follow suit?

    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 (75)

    • April 21st 2017 @ 8:41am
      concerned supporter said | April 21st 2017 @ 8:41am | ! Report

      David, you are right.
      Also maybe the Waratahs should better connect with the community.
      School Holiday time, why not coaching clinics or Meet the Waratahs around Sydney.
      Keep them out of the gym for one day.
      Their PR work with the community is poor.

      • Roar Rookie

        April 21st 2017 @ 9:07am
        Paul D said | April 21st 2017 @ 9:07am | ! Report

        You mean like;

        – Camp Waratah Clinics that they just ran over the school holidays
        – Player visits to junior clubs
        – AGL Skills and Drills
        – Meet and greets at shopping centres

        Then you have stories like Foley noticing a young kid in the park practicing his kicking as he leaves training and spending about an hour with him.

        And that’s just in the last month. People will always complain that they should do more, but I get the impression that there has being a concerted effort at the Waratahs this year above other years to improve on it.

        • April 21st 2017 @ 9:18am
          concerned supporter said | April 21st 2017 @ 9:18am | ! Report

          Yes, that is what I mean.
          Just read today’s Daily Telegraph Page 88- a large photo of Dave McDuling at kids coaching clinic.
          Well done.
          My info comes from out of the Western Suburbs of Sydney, where Union is very secondary to League.

          • Roar Rookie

            April 21st 2017 @ 9:32am
            Paul D said | April 21st 2017 @ 9:32am | ! Report

            I’m with you there. Being in both Western Sydney and growing up in Western NSW we might as well be in another state. But this too has improved slightly with the Beach to the Bush initiative.

            It still doesn’t go far enough and I’d prefer if they played at least some games out of Parramatta once it’s redeveloped. But I can appreciate that given the international nature of Super Rugby with so few home games it’s a hard pill to swallow.

            I’d love for them to centralise to Parramatta, but I know that will never happen.

            When competing with League you are always on a hiding to nothing with teams based at Penrith, Parramatta etc, and the sheer volume of games that are within driving distance over the course of a season.

            • April 21st 2017 @ 10:49am
              concerned supporter said | April 21st 2017 @ 10:49am | ! Report


              Check out Penrith Emus Win/Loss record over the past say 5 years, in all grades & colts.

              It is an embarrassment. No young players in that area would want to get beaten week after week (often by +50 points)

              They should, no must be given immediate concessions by the ARU,NSWRU.

              I live at Bondi but have seen the Rugby Train Wreck at Penrith over the years.

              If things are OK at Sydney Uni. things are OK for the NSWRU Rugby Masters, mostly Roger Davis. Incompetent.

              • April 22nd 2017 @ 2:54am
                Matt Jones said | April 22nd 2017 @ 2:54am | ! Report

                school clinics will save rugby ! haha

    • April 21st 2017 @ 8:50am
      Rt said | April 21st 2017 @ 8:50am | ! Report


      Btw a bit picky but it’s Daly not Daley

      • April 21st 2017 @ 9:51am
        Nico'larse said | April 21st 2017 @ 9:51am | ! Report

        I’ll be less picky and say that Tony Daly might not be the most appropriate pin up ex-Waratahs players to adorn the walls right now.

        • April 21st 2017 @ 11:50am
          Old One Eye said | April 21st 2017 @ 11:50am | ! Report

          Nor Michael O’Connor who played his representative rugby out of Queensland.

    • Roar Guru

      April 21st 2017 @ 9:22am
      Machooka said | April 21st 2017 @ 9:22am | ! Report

      Haha David… and well done as that’s now your third or fourth article quoting the line
      ‘It’s been a successful tour on the training paddock.’ by Michael Hooper.

      Context David… yep, context is always a useful skill to have on hand 🙂

      Regardless, the Tahs definitely need a serious salivating big black dog up ’em!

      • April 21st 2017 @ 3:03pm
        Cynical Play said | April 21st 2017 @ 3:03pm | ! Report

        Lord is out of ideas. This article is a cut and paste from his last 2 anti-Tah tirades. He likes to release the article on game eve. God only knows why?!

        Lord has the Trump like approach to analysis shreaking “terrible” as many times as possible and “the sky is falling”. He clearly needs to disclose his interests here as a mouthpiece for angry Tah hater mob. I can’t recall the last time Lord wrote an article of new interest.

        Come on David. Disclose your connections fuelling your relentless tirade. Or are you just tired?

    • April 21st 2017 @ 9:24am
      BL said | April 21st 2017 @ 9:24am | ! Report

      The true merit of any rugby union players abilty is how they can execute their skills and atributes under pressure and in a game situation – not on a training field running at shadows and tackle bags

    • April 21st 2017 @ 9:31am
      Gman said | April 21st 2017 @ 9:31am | ! Report

      They don’t do enough to help grass roots .
      This isnt news – they need to have written into contracts clauses to assure they all do work at clubs, schools etc

      Drinking at the races less than 24 hours after having ypur ass handed to you isnt a good look either mr hooper

    • April 21st 2017 @ 10:21am
      Jock Cornet said | April 21st 2017 @ 10:21am | ! Report

      They represent the ARU and that’s it

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