Waratahs aiming for better in 2018

By Darren Walton, Darren Walton is a Roar Guru

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35 Have your say

    The NSW Waratahs are training the house down and aiming high as they strive to bounce back from their worst season in a decade by winning the 2018 Super Rugby title.

    “You always want to be the best. I don’t think you can set a goal less than winning the comp. It’s what we all want to do so,” fullback-winger Cameron Clark said.

    The Tahs endured a dismal 2017 campaign, finishing 16th in the old 18-team competition with just three wins from 15 matches.

    But the 2014 champions do have history of swiftly turning around their fortunes, making the final in 2008 after finishing second-last the previous season with only three wins.

    The return of midfield maestro Kurtley Beale from his stint in the English Premiership will help, as will the addition of Wallabies second-rower Rob Simmons.

    Beale and the former Queensland Reds star were among the NSW Waratahs contingent on the Wallabies’ spring tour of Britain who aren’t due back at Waratahs training until after Christmas.

    As for the rest, Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson has been flogging them on the training paddock ahead of the side’s first trial match on February 2 against the Highlanders in Queenstown.

    “There’s been a lot of fitness (work) because the way we want to play in 2018 we need to be fit, fitter than this year,” said hooker Tolu Latu.

    “So a lot of skills (work) under fatigue, working after our sets of running and conditioning blocks.

    “So it’s been a tough. A lot of running for the boys.”

    Clark, one of the Tahs’ better performers this year, says the new faces in Gibson’s squad have already added an edge.

    “It’s only been a couple of days but they’re definitely bringing that new level of excitement,” he said.

    “Fresh faces are always good for the squad and everyone’s really embracing them.

    “They’re getting stuck in as well as the old boys so it’s great to have some new guys around.

    “We’re setting ourselves high standards and hopefully we keep to those throughout the year and we end up at the top at the end.”

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (35)

    • Roar Guru

      December 6th 2017 @ 1:54pm
      Lano said | December 6th 2017 @ 1:54pm | ! Report

      “by winning the 2018 Super Rugby title” – a comedy piece, surely Darren?

      and, Rob Simmons is going to help? (…Ka- Boom drum roll – audience now in stitches)

      • December 6th 2017 @ 3:05pm
        ethan said | December 6th 2017 @ 3:05pm | ! Report

        I read the first eight words and thought we were in for satire.

        • Roar Guru

          December 7th 2017 @ 10:08am
          PeterK said | December 7th 2017 @ 10:08am | ! Report

          cmon – read the actual quote not the journo.

          So the players have a goal of winning the comp. I think every player in every team would have that goal.

          Totally different if they comments were talking about a good chance to , or even a good chance to make the semis or win the conference.

          • December 7th 2017 @ 7:27pm
            Ruckin Oaf said | December 7th 2017 @ 7:27pm | ! Report

            Hey Peterk

            I dunno, many years ago I read a great book on sports psychology.

            One of the first things that the author pointed out is that in any sporting contest the number of competitors / teams that actually have a chance of winning is pretty low.

            Maybe two or three.

            So for most of the competitors realistic goals might be to achieve a personal best, or make the finals or semis / quarters.

            Sportsbet have the Sunwolves at $501 next season I think if those players seriously have the goal of winning the comp they are delusional.

            • December 7th 2017 @ 8:06pm
              cuw said | December 7th 2017 @ 8:06pm | ! Report

              ditto that

              for many the aim is to achieve their personal best – especially in individual events.

              if we take BOLT as an eg. for many years a lot of guys ran for the silver. same when PHELPS was at his best.

              this is slightly different in team games but still there are the haves and the have-nots.

              in a long drawn out tournament , many have hopes of pulling off an upset and a surprise , but only a handful can think of winning.

              and in many games time also makes a difference. not many keep on winning year after year. staying at the top is hard in team games especially over a long period.

              only a few have achieved that – like NZ rugger and USA bb and maybe Russian ice hockey 🙂

          • December 7th 2017 @ 8:42pm
            ethan said | December 7th 2017 @ 8:42pm | ! Report

            The actual quote by the journo I was referring to PeterK is this, “The NSW Waratahs are training the house down.”

            Do you not remember Michael Hooper being excited about how well they were training previously with poor results?

    • December 6th 2017 @ 2:18pm
      Marto said | December 6th 2017 @ 2:18pm | ! Report

      Doesn’t really matter if they finish last in super rugby. Cheika will still pick proven spuds in Hanigan Robertson Foley Phipps Hooper Beale Simmons. and a LAZY boned don’t want to get my jersey dirty Israel Folau.

    • Roar Rookie

      December 6th 2017 @ 2:20pm
      piru said | December 6th 2017 @ 2:20pm | ! Report

      Must be preseason, Tahs are at their best

      • December 6th 2017 @ 3:22pm
        Fionn said | December 6th 2017 @ 3:22pm | ! Report

        Waratahs are always at their best on the training paddock, just ask Hoops.

        • Roar Guru

          December 7th 2017 @ 1:46pm
          jeznez said | December 7th 2017 @ 1:46pm | ! Report

          That is what is scary – they were apparently awesome trainers last year and seemingly stepping up the training a notch this year!

          • Roar Guru

            December 7th 2017 @ 3:53pm
            PeterK said | December 7th 2017 @ 3:53pm | ! Report

            fake it until you make it!

      • December 6th 2017 @ 8:35pm
        Bill said | December 6th 2017 @ 8:35pm | ! Report

        10/10 Pieu!

      • December 7th 2017 @ 9:57am
        Tissot Time said | December 7th 2017 @ 9:57am | ! Report

        Tah hype Groundhog Day date change? I’m confused it’s out before Christmas!

    • Roar Guru

      December 6th 2017 @ 2:39pm
      John R said | December 6th 2017 @ 2:39pm | ! Report

      F–k, this is just embarrassing.

    • December 6th 2017 @ 3:32pm
      Jumbo said | December 6th 2017 @ 3:32pm | ! Report

      Well they can’t get any worse, up is the only way from the bottom..

      • December 6th 2017 @ 3:48pm
        Fionn said | December 6th 2017 @ 3:48pm | ! Report

        The Rebels are now the Force, not the Rebels. So, yes, things can get worse for the Waratahs.

        • Roar Guru

          December 7th 2017 @ 10:11am
          PeterK said | December 7th 2017 @ 10:11am | ! Report

          well if the beat the sunwolves they won’t finish last in the conference,

          I expect a bottom 2 or 3 in the comp for the tahs.

          Worst oz team , they may be better than the bulls but don’t get to play them next year. So they will lose against all nz and sa teams.

    • December 6th 2017 @ 6:41pm
      MitchO said | December 6th 2017 @ 6:41pm | ! Report

      Tahs are going to struggle with the Rebels picking up so many good Force players and the coach. And a few decent force players like Meakes.

      Tahs are better with Beale but they need a lot more grunt in that forward pack. They look a bit too Wallaby like ie a bit soft. Let’s hope for their sake that Dempsey can come back from injury and show Hanigan how it is done.

      • December 6th 2017 @ 7:23pm
        Paul D said | December 6th 2017 @ 7:23pm | ! Report

        Rumour is Dempsey might be done for 12 months. Tore the muscle right off the bone.

        This year will be a test of the pathways and Cron. Not expecting much, but hope to see some young guys improving.

        At best third in Aus conference is my prediction, but I don’t begrudge the players stating they aim to win. At least it gives the vultures something to pick at for a while….

      • Roar Guru

        December 7th 2017 @ 10:13am
        PeterK said | December 7th 2017 @ 10:13am | ! Report

        Gibson is such a poor coach.

        Very poor at recruitment , especially his o/s marquee players.

        Poor at tactics, has no idea how to adapt or move to new tactics.

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