Let NSW legends inspire the current Waratahs from the wall

David Lord Columnist

By David Lord, David Lord is a Roar Expert

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39 Have your say

    Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson and captain Michael Hooper haven’t produced must inspiration, pride, and passion into their side this season.

    Three wins from ten starts isn’t the Waratah way.

    Gibson can be innovative for once by producing life-sized action posters of Jon White, Peter Johnson, Ewen McKenzie, Rob Heming, Steve Cutler, Simon Poidevin, Matt Burke, and Dick Tooth to remind the current crop they are letting down the coveted light blue jersey with a Waratah over the heart.

    There are plenty of others that should also be up there; Greg Cornelsen, Phil Waugh, Tim Gavin, Ken Catchpole, Nick Farr-Jones, and Mark Ella are a few. I’d also add Phil Hawthorne, Michael O’Connor, Michael Hawker, John Brass, Trevor Allan and David Campese.

    If that doesn’t inspire the Waratahs to win their last five games to qualify for the Super Rugby finals, then they don’t deserve to wear the jersey.

    It’s a big ask, but the troops are there to do the job if they play to their ability that has so far been left in the shed.

    They’ve become known as the second-half side.

    Down 25-6 to the Rebels at halftime, the Tahs won 32-25

    Down 26-0 to the Blues at halftime, the Waratahs lost 40-33, ‘winning’ the second half 33-14.

    But there’s also been the reverse, leading the Kings 17-0, only to lose 26-24.

    What a load of rubbish, where rugby basics – passing, catching, supporting, retaining possession, and tackling – have been ignored.

    I’m sick of writing it, Roarers are sick of reading it, and the Waratahs still can’t click.

    Which begs the question, how can such talent in being selected, not able to handle the rugby basics?

    If those posters can’t click the current crop into gear, heaven help the Wallabies.

    The cold, hard facts are the Brumbies lead the Australian conference, with 19 points, from the Reds (16), and Waratahs (14).

    But the Resd have only four games to complete their season, and can’t win the conference with its automatic qualification into the final series.

    The Brumbies face two mighty tough games in a fortnight, with the Kings in Port Elizabeth, and the Jaguares in Buenos Aires.

    It’s 10,389 kms from Canberra to Port Elizabeth, in 13 hours, 24 minutes flying time, then 7460 kms from the South African city to Buenos Aires, in 11 hours, 11 minutes. Add another 11,710 kms from Buenos Aires to Canberra, taking 19 hours, 20 minutes.

    All up that’s 29556 kms and 43 hours, 55 minutes in the air – plus training sessions and 160 minutes of demanding rugby. It’s a recipe for two defeats, and the possibility of a third loss, to the Rebels, on return.

    That would leave the Brumbies on 19 points, while the Waratahs with the legends looking over them face the Rebels at Allianz, the Highlanders in Dunedin, and the Chiefs in Waikato – needing to win all three.

    The latter two would break the Australian drought of 17 losses in 17 games against Kiwi sides this season, but it has to be done, getting NSW to 26 points.

    The Brumbies compete their scheduled rounds with the Reds at Suncorp, and the Chiefs at Waikato, which translates to four of their five remaining games away.

    The Waratahs complete their scheduled rounds with the Jaguares at Allianz, and the Force in Perth, a far easier challenge.

    But it’s only far easier if the run of Ls become a run of Ws – nothing else counts.

    And those NSW legends on the wall will have done their job as they did in their playing days.

    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 (39)

    • May 17th 2017 @ 8:35am
      tyrone said | May 17th 2017 @ 8:35am | ! Report

      “If those posters can’t click the current crop into gear, heaven help the Wallabies.”

      These guys are professionals, if posters of former players is the only way to get them to play in a manner that they are well paid for then there are massive issues.

      Photos of players from years ago point out how the game is now totally professional, from the materials used in uniforms to the physical attributes of the players. It is a different game played in a different manner that the past.

      Maybe photos of times this season when current players did something good might remind the players of their skill set.

      Living in the past does not help with the future, it just give an assumption that playing for a major team that has been successful before is enough to win.

      “But the Reds have only four games to complete their season, and can’t win the conference with its automatic qualification into the final series.”

      Reds at home to the Force- Reds should win
      Reds away to Blues- Reds loss
      Reds at home to Brumbies- Reds win
      Reds away to Highlanders- Highlanders win

      So reds get 2 wins.
      I have the Brumbies getting 1 win at home against Rebels
      Tahs with a win over the Rebels and Force

      Bonus points will likely decide the conference.

    • May 17th 2017 @ 8:48am
      sean said | May 17th 2017 @ 8:48am | ! Report

      I’d assume you’re joking but I’ve read some of your previous work. Posters? Wow.

      • Columnist

        May 17th 2017 @ 9:48am
        David Lord said | May 17th 2017 @ 9:48am | ! Report

        No joke sean, far from it. All the conventional and traditional ways of winning haven’t worked, so a shock wave of genuine NSW legends staring down at them from the shed wall might shake them out of their lethargy.

        • May 17th 2017 @ 9:59am
          P2R2 said | May 17th 2017 @ 9:59am | ! Report

          ….The latter two would break the Australian drought of 17 losses in 17 games against Kiwi sides this season, but…
          I doubt the Tahs will win against the Chiefs and/or the Highlanders….they will be consigned to the bin the RUBBISH BIN…

        • Roar Rookie

          May 17th 2017 @ 11:09am
          Don said | May 17th 2017 @ 11:09am | ! Report

          But just make sure you don’t put some of their win / loss records in the different formats of super rugby and interstate rugby over the years under each image. I am pretty sure NSW never won a SR comp of any form until 2014.

          And a few of those legends have lopsided losing records against Qld before SR was around.

          Some of the current squad have very similar win / loss stats in the blue jersey as those legends.

        • May 17th 2017 @ 11:37am
          tyrone said | May 17th 2017 @ 11:37am | ! Report

          The Waratahs are a franchise, NSW is a state.

          They are similar but different is regards to rugby matches.

          In the past you had pride in the state you were born in, now a large percentage of players were born elsewhere or even played a different sport growing up.

          They may be NSW legends to you but I doubt many of the new generation care at all.

          • Columnist

            May 17th 2017 @ 12:58pm
            David Lord said | May 17th 2017 @ 12:58pm | ! Report

            For those who don’t care tyrone, put them on a bike to nowhere.

        • May 17th 2017 @ 7:03pm
          Rebellion said | May 17th 2017 @ 7:03pm | ! Report

          Sick to death of your Waratahs articles David.
          I’d like to say they’re almost as insufferable to read as those penned by Mark Ella but that would be a lie.

    • May 17th 2017 @ 8:55am
      Fionn said | May 17th 2017 @ 8:55am | ! Report

      Cheers, David, I honestly loved reading that, brought a smile to my face! Congrats on 2001 articles, it has been a real odyssey.

      • Columnist

        May 17th 2017 @ 9:42am
        David Lord said | May 17th 2017 @ 9:42am | ! Report

        Fiona, did you meet the new French President?

        • May 17th 2017 @ 10:24am
          Fionn said | May 17th 2017 @ 10:24am | ! Report

          Sorry, David, don’t quite understand what you’re getting at?

          • Columnist

            May 17th 2017 @ 12:59pm
            David Lord said | May 17th 2017 @ 12:59pm | ! Report

            Apologies Fionn, without my glasses on I read you as Fiona who is on holidays in France,

            • Roar Guru

              May 17th 2017 @ 1:09pm
              Fionn said | May 17th 2017 @ 1:09pm | ! Report

              Haha, no worries, mate, cheers.

              • May 17th 2017 @ 2:14pm
                Ryan said | May 17th 2017 @ 2:14pm | ! Report

                ..that was awkward.

          • Roar Guru

            May 17th 2017 @ 11:37pm
            Jokerman said | May 17th 2017 @ 11:37pm | ! Report

            Don’t worry, Fion he’s not saying you’re a little girl !?!

            Enjoy your trip in France, and make sure you send the roar a postcard!

            • Roar Guru

              May 18th 2017 @ 3:16pm
              Jokerman said | May 18th 2017 @ 3:16pm | ! Report

              ….and well done Lordy on your 2000! Impressive. Your articles are always interesting…with a lot of passion. And as I’ve come to know…that return of serve (to the comments) is no easy task.

              I’m like half pitbull, half alsatian on a chain with some and they’re like the mailman about to hand in some letters….!! Choose peace, Jokerman, choose peace…

              I showed my lovely female friend your comment on Fionn….she thought it was very funny and “cute”…in a very positive sense.

              Don’t worry, you won’t be the first to mix up Fionn… 🙂

              • May 18th 2017 @ 9:00pm
                Fionn said | May 18th 2017 @ 9:00pm | ! Report

                Hahhaha he’s definitely not the first, mate ?

        • May 17th 2017 @ 3:04pm
          Darwin Stubbie said | May 17th 2017 @ 3:04pm | ! Report

          That exchange explains a lot

      • Roar Guru

        May 17th 2017 @ 5:19pm
        Machooka said | May 17th 2017 @ 5:19pm | ! Report

        I saw what you did there Fionn 😉

        Also well done David on 2000+ articles on the Roar. Massive effort!

        Although I don’t often agree with some of your efforts, your opinions and insight are most valuable to readership here at the Roar. For mine is what the Roar is all about… differing opinions and insight.

        Hey, I also don’t often agree with my wife… in fact mostly. And frankly I can’t imagine a life where we would want to agree on all things, all the time, anyhow 🙂

        • May 17th 2017 @ 10:01pm
          davSA said | May 17th 2017 @ 10:01pm | ! Report

          Machooka , I discovered The Roar while the SA cricket team were recently touring and was looking for an Australian perspective on them . There are many sports , mainly rugby and cricket here in SA that one can contribute to but I never bothered because within a comment or 2 the insults , racial epithets and the likes of spew out . I truly find this site one where a difference of opinion can be expressed without having to quickly turn off my laptop. Just rambling.

          • Roar Guru

            May 18th 2017 @ 9:20am
            Machooka said | May 18th 2017 @ 9:20am | ! Report

            davSA… viva la difference!

    • May 17th 2017 @ 10:12am
      Jock Cornet said | May 17th 2017 @ 10:12am | ! Report

      I doubt many ex tahs give a stuff about these so called professionals. Those amateurs must be laughing at how much these premaddonas get paid and how bad they are .

      • May 17th 2017 @ 10:31am
        ads2600 said | May 17th 2017 @ 10:31am | ! Report

        My thoughts exactly! How about this idea, you do your job, or you don’t get paid? Plenty of other jobs out there that are performance based, so why not Rugby players?

      • May 17th 2017 @ 11:35am
        tyrone said | May 17th 2017 @ 11:35am | ! Report

        agree, and I equally dont think many of the current team really care for the “legends”.

        they are has beens from an era when you only played part time and played for passion.

        Maybe show some photos of the highest paid players in history, this might make them aspire to be better

    • May 17th 2017 @ 11:05am
      Blue said | May 17th 2017 @ 11:05am | ! Report

      With all due respect this ra ra ra old guy inspire stuff doesn’t work. The game has moved on. The respect remains, but instant inspiration is something journalists like to write about.

      If between the coach and the fact that you are employed as a pro rugby player if you can’t get off your arse, you probably never will.

      No old guy telling you how great and wonderful he was will make you better.

      In reality it makes little if any difference to catching, passing, making quick decisions, running into people, getting run into and so on.

      Precision rules this modern game. Nostalgia counts for nothing.

      • May 17th 2017 @ 11:39am
        chasmac said | May 17th 2017 @ 11:39am | ! Report

        I agree with this blue.
        Waratahs have lost a lot of quality experience recently.
        Inconsistency is the result.
        Fans (including myself) expect more but are they being realistic?

        • Columnist

          May 17th 2017 @ 1:03pm
          David Lord said | May 17th 2017 @ 1:03pm | ! Report

          chasmac, there are 12 Wallabies in the current Waratahs roster, that’s plenty of experience demanding more than three wins in 10.

          • May 17th 2017 @ 1:42pm
            Bamboo said | May 17th 2017 @ 1:42pm | ! Report

            Well the Wallabies have been going at around a 55% win rate since 2013. That means the Waratahs would be at 5 wins out of 10 using your logic.

            Still pretty p*ss poor.

          • May 18th 2017 @ 2:05am
            ukkiwi said | May 18th 2017 @ 2:05am | ! Report

            Does that say more about the Wallabies or the Warratahs?

    • May 17th 2017 @ 1:07pm
      DLKN said | May 17th 2017 @ 1:07pm | ! Report

      Michael O’Connor? A Waratah?

      I think you’ll find that he played rugby for the ACT and Queensland, and played for Australia from there.

      But a Waratah? No. Zero caps.

      • May 18th 2017 @ 2:40am
        Bakkies said | May 18th 2017 @ 2:40am | ! Report

        Was going to post the same thing

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