BERNARD FOLEY: It only takes one win for the Tahs to break Australia’s Super Rugby drought

Bernard Foley Columnist

By Bernard Foley, Bernard Foley is a Roar Expert New author!

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    Bernard Foley of the Waratahs. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

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    When you have a result like the Waratahs did in our last game, going scoreless against the Lions, the first thing you want to do is get back out there and play another one.

    We reviewed the game openly and looked at where we can improve, and really it’s about having a game plan for the 80 minutes.

    We did well for the first 40 against the Lions but then lapsed early on after halftime. We were able to nullify them a bit in the first half but went away from it in the second.

    When we did apply pressure, it wasn’t there for long enough, and when we had opportunities – especially in the first quarter of the game – they weren’t taken. If they had been, it might’ve been a different game.

    There’s no way around it though – that loss was extremely disappointing for the team and fans. But that’s what the catalyst for change is – we’re going to make sure we don’t play another game like that.

    What you want to do is go right back out there to play again and re-write people’s perceptions of the team, but unfortunately because of the bye we haven’t had the opportunity to do that. Instead, there’s another week to mull it all over.

    But there are positives. It provides some time to prepare for this upcoming block of games, and it’s a chance to rejuvenate and get the body feeling good.

    So far this year there has been a bit of everything – the good, the bad and the average. We want to be a lot more consistent.

    Five wins from eight games isn’t a bad position, but the goal was to be eight for eight. We could’ve done better in a few of the games that we’ve probably let slip.

    After a disappointing season like 2017, there was a need to really review pretty much every area of the club.

    Credit has to go to the coaches and support staff for really honest reviews and changes that have lead to improvement.

    Everyone has bought into this new environment. We know that this is the way we want to proceed and that’s what has really changed things around the club, that all the guys have bought in and want to be better.

    We’ve got a quality side here. You can feel a good vibe around the squad and it’s exciting to come to work every day with these guys who are trying to push themselves to be the best they can be.

    bernard foley runs the ball

    (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

    Part of that has been making a big effort to improve our defence. When you’re in sides that are winning games and competitions, defence is what it comes down to.

    It probably doesn’t matter as much how many points you score but how many you allow in terms of how your season goes – defence is so vital and there’s a requirement to be able to withstand pressure for long periods of time.

    That in itself creates opportunities in attack. As vice-captain of the Waratahs, and one of our leaders in that area alongside Kurtley Beale and Jake Gordon, I take pride in our offence and want to make sure it’s firing.

    This week we’re hosting the Blues at Brookvale Oval and it’s a match that gives us the chance not just to make amends for our loss against the Lions but also to potentially snap a long-running streak of Australian sides to New Zealand sides.

    Playing at Brookvale is new for us, but going to a suburban ground and having a really tribal sort of atmosphere is really exciting.

    That streak of losses against New Zealand sides is something that gets talked about a lot but it doesn’t play on the minds of the team at all.

    It’s a funny thing that has happened over the last year and a half, and it’s been disappointing, but it is what it is. We’re choosing to focus on what it is we want to do, and playing a game that makes our fans happy and gives them satisfaction.

    The stats and the history don’t come into play, because we’re only one win away from changing it all.

    The Waratahs will go up against the Blues this weekend with a chance to break Australia’s long-running Super Rugby drought against trans-Tasman opposition, so be sure to grab a NSW Waratahs membership and get down to Brookvale Oval to enjoy all the action.

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    The Crowd Says (136)

    • May 2nd 2018 @ 9:39am
      Fionn said | May 2nd 2018 @ 9:39am | ! Report

      Not convinced that the first 40 was particularly ‘good,’ but the Tahs can definitely take positives out of the fact that they were able to apply pressure in the first 25mins.

      Good luck this weekend. I’m going to pull my hair out if no Aussie team gets a win over a Kiwi one this year.

      • May 2nd 2018 @ 10:08pm
        Riddler said | May 2nd 2018 @ 10:08pm | ! Report

        Fionn my ugly mug has no hair.. except for the sudden steriod growth of the nose hair and ear hair..

        Will happily sacrifice those!!

      • May 2nd 2018 @ 11:09pm
        Reverse Wheel said | May 2nd 2018 @ 11:09pm | ! Report

        Maybe not good but certainly better than the lions, who were poor in that first 40. Should have been a couple of tries up at halftime.

    • May 2nd 2018 @ 9:44am
      Marty said | May 2nd 2018 @ 9:44am | ! Report

      This comment has been removed for breaching The Roar’s comments policy.

      • May 2nd 2018 @ 9:50am
        Fionn said | May 2nd 2018 @ 9:50am | ! Report

        I like current players sharing their perspectives. It’s nice as a fan.

        • May 2nd 2018 @ 9:58am
          jack said | May 2nd 2018 @ 9:58am | ! Report

          me too

        • Roar Guru

          May 2nd 2018 @ 12:49pm
          Train Without A Station said | May 2nd 2018 @ 12:49pm | ! Report

          Nah I’m sick of these players giving me insight into their profession and sharing that with us.

          But also I’m sick of these elites keeping themselves away from us the paying public!

          • May 2nd 2018 @ 1:06pm
            Markie362 said | May 2nd 2018 @ 1:06pm | ! Report

            Its nice foleys not just a footballer.hes obviously a mathematician as hes worked out one win will break the streak.what a genuis

            • May 2nd 2018 @ 2:56pm
              Taylorman said | May 2nd 2018 @ 2:56pm | ! Report

              Well nobody else seems to have worked that out yet😆

          • May 2nd 2018 @ 5:31pm
            Cynical Play said | May 2nd 2018 @ 5:31pm | ! Report

            Take a holiday buddy.

            • Roar Guru

              May 2nd 2018 @ 5:38pm
              Train Without A Station said | May 2nd 2018 @ 5:38pm | ! Report

              sarcasm clearly flies right over your head champ.

              • May 2nd 2018 @ 10:19pm
                Riddler said | May 2nd 2018 @ 10:19pm | ! Report

                I detest the buddy champ comments.. how old are you?

                Seriously twas..

              • Roar Guru

                May 3rd 2018 @ 8:15am
                Train Without A Station said | May 3rd 2018 @ 8:15am | ! Report

                Your obsession with anything I do is hilarious.

                If you detest it so much, why do you feel the need to respond to the respondent, not the person who started using the the terminology you detest?

      • May 2nd 2018 @ 10:07am
        jameswm said | May 2nd 2018 @ 10:07am | ! Report

        Thanks for that massively helpful comment Marty.

        • May 6th 2018 @ 11:55am
          Marty said | May 6th 2018 @ 11:55am | ! Report

          But I sure was right. I sure hope Bernard didn’t skip training to work with the PR team on this article. He has a long way to go to make it as a 10 of notable standard.

        • May 6th 2018 @ 12:30pm
          Marty said | May 6th 2018 @ 12:30pm | ! Report

          The lead up to the Blues first try. Folau executes a woeful pass that bounces before getting to Floey on his right. Foley executes a woeful bounce pass to Beale who getts wrapped up and turned over. Basic skills lacking from key test players. No wonder a win against the worst of NZ was just too much to ask.

    • Roar Guru

      May 2nd 2018 @ 9:49am
      John R said | May 2nd 2018 @ 9:49am | ! Report

      Thanks Bernard.

      Get one over a Kiwi team for us Aussie fans would ya?

      • Roar Guru

        May 2nd 2018 @ 4:29pm
        Machpants said | May 2nd 2018 @ 4:29pm | ! Report

        And us kiwi fans, it’s not good for rugby this sort of thing – in happy for the ABs to win every game until the end of time, but it shouldn’t be like this at the level below.

        • Roar Guru

          May 2nd 2018 @ 5:36pm
          John R said | May 2nd 2018 @ 5:36pm | ! Report

          It’s at that point aye. Like something has gotta change!

        • May 2nd 2018 @ 5:59pm
          Redsfan1 said | May 2nd 2018 @ 5:59pm | ! Report

          It’s by no means as likely. Remember the Blues did beat the Lions in Jo’bourg and have been competive against other Kiwi teams. Wouldn’t be surprised if Blues win thi.

        • Roar Guru

          May 2nd 2018 @ 6:08pm
          Jokerman said | May 2nd 2018 @ 6:08pm | ! Report

          It needs round robin. It would add more interest. More prestige. Back to the old format. The Kiwi teams would be able to rest their players more, giving the weaker teams a chance.

          I wonder if Australia having a easier format has weakened them.

          • May 2nd 2018 @ 6:31pm
            cuw said | May 2nd 2018 @ 6:31pm | ! Report

            even saffas.

            dont forget last season Lions did not play the NZ teams and topped the table becoz of bonus points.

            they dont look so sharp now – losing the coach may not be the sole reason forthat.

            and Blues had simillar points as brumbies if i remember correct.

            14 teams – drop japs.

            13 matches on a home – n – away basis over a 2 year cycle. ( like 6 nations )

            play a finals round if u must like Aviva.( top 4 teams )

            then no need for byes and prolonged season.

            give the players a bit more rest.

            see what good Ben Smith’s holiday did for him??

            all players will be better with more holidays.

            that will definitely reduce injuries and improve the quality – for all teams.

            • May 5th 2018 @ 8:37pm
              Joe King said | May 5th 2018 @ 8:37pm | ! Report

              yuck from and aussie perspective, but I totally understand from a kiwi one. The problem for SR is it has to compromise and nobody gets what they want.

          • May 2nd 2018 @ 7:21pm
            Realist said | May 2nd 2018 @ 7:21pm | ! Report


            I rarely (if ever) agree with you but I agree with that comment.

            The conference system has also killed off what was great about the tournament. A different team, a different style, a different stadium every week.

            People used to look forward to the QLD vs NSW derbies but not many care anymore

            • Roar Guru

              May 3rd 2018 @ 12:38pm
              Jokerman said | May 3rd 2018 @ 12:38pm | ! Report

              Realist the mind will often rebel against the truth 😉

              I do miss the good old days. It was also more competitive – NZ teams vs Aussi. Now I watch the NZ teams flog each other and cause more injuries.

              The rugby is awesome but it needs a simple format. It’s currently out of whack – unfair system. NZ teams getting thrashed, and perhaps giving SA and Australia a false sense of security with an easy draw and the consequences come later down the track; which is now.

    • May 2nd 2018 @ 9:58am
      jack said | May 2nd 2018 @ 9:58am | ! Report

      Thanks Bernard. A nice honest review

      • May 2nd 2018 @ 4:07pm
        Connor33 said | May 2nd 2018 @ 4:07pm | ! Report

        Yes, I second I that. Thank you for putting pen to paper, Bernard.

      • May 4th 2018 @ 11:28am
        Akari said | May 4th 2018 @ 11:28am | ! Report

        Sorry Jack but something is not right when a seasoned international says, “We reviewed the game openly and looked at where we can improve, and really it’s about having a game plan for the 80 minutes.”.

        Really? Is it a new thing for Foley and the Tahs to not know “about having a game plan for the 80 minutes” after how many years of playing club, super and test rugby? And what do they talk about at the break at half time? Or do they do not talk about or review their game plans at the break? Ridiculous.

    • May 2nd 2018 @ 10:08am
      On the Ball said | May 2nd 2018 @ 10:08am | ! Report

      If the Waratahs do win against the worst Kiwi side in Sydney and start jumping up and down like they just won the Grand Final it will show how far Rugby has fallen.

      • May 2nd 2018 @ 11:11pm
        Reverse Wheel said | May 2nd 2018 @ 11:11pm | ! Report

        They should definitely not be allowed to celebrate a win. Celebrations are for losers. Or something.

        • May 5th 2018 @ 5:54am
          Cliff (Bishkek) said | May 5th 2018 @ 5:54am | ! Report

          We are good at it!!!

    • May 2nd 2018 @ 10:15am
      Jacko said | May 2nd 2018 @ 10:15am | ! Report

      Surely its this weekend isnt it? If not then when? TBH if the Blues are on their game the Tahs will get beaten but if the Blues are the Blues of the last few weeks ( years really) then Its the Tahs. Consistancy is not a strenth of either side lately but i think the Blues have more talent. I just hope we see two sides desperate to win

      • May 2nd 2018 @ 10:20am
        Taylorman said | May 2nd 2018 @ 10:20am | ! Report

        The two biggest cities from either side of the Tasman, fighting for peanuts…. oh dear…

        • Roar Guru

          May 2nd 2018 @ 10:34am
          John R said | May 2nd 2018 @ 10:34am | ! Report

          Auckland – the Sydney of New Zealand 😛

          • Roar Rookie

            May 2nd 2018 @ 11:44am
            piru said | May 2nd 2018 @ 11:44am | ! Report

            You mean Sydney, the Auckland of Australia?

            • Roar Guru

              May 2nd 2018 @ 11:49am
              John R said | May 2nd 2018 @ 11:49am | ! Report

              Sydney has the prettier harbour bridge, so they are the winners!

            • May 2nd 2018 @ 6:32pm
              Redsfan1 said | May 2nd 2018 @ 6:32pm | ! Report

              It’s by no means as likely. Remember the Blues did beat the Lions in Jo’bourg and have been competive against other Kiwi teams. Wouldn’t be surprised if Blues win thi.

              • May 2nd 2018 @ 7:23pm
                Realist said | May 2nd 2018 @ 7:23pm | ! Report

                And alot of the Waratahs are simply guaranteed gold jerseys

                so there’s not a lot to play for..

          • May 2nd 2018 @ 1:49pm
            ThugbyFan said | May 2nd 2018 @ 1:49pm | ! Report

            TM and John, I lived in Sydney Eastern Suburbs for years when younger. It was unofficially named as West Auckland. 🙂

            • May 2nd 2018 @ 2:09pm
              jameswm said | May 2nd 2018 @ 2:09pm | ! Report

              You mean Vaucluse, or Point Piper?

            • May 2nd 2018 @ 2:58pm
              Taylorman said | May 2nd 2018 @ 2:58pm | ! Report

              Yeah i lived in West Auckland for a few months when i was younger. It was unofficially named West Auckland too👌

        • Roar Guru

          May 2nd 2018 @ 11:35am
          Mango Jack said | May 2nd 2018 @ 11:35am | ! Report

          Playing on a field that looks more like a beach.

        • May 2nd 2018 @ 11:43am
          Jacko said | May 2nd 2018 @ 11:43am | ! Report

          Lol I love peanuts Tman…M&Ms are my favourite….I just hope they are FIGHTING over something…A soft win to either side would be disappointing

          • May 2nd 2018 @ 2:59pm
            Taylorman said | May 2nd 2018 @ 2:59pm | ! Report

            Not Jaffas then?😳

            • May 3rd 2018 @ 12:41pm
              Campbell Watts said | May 3rd 2018 @ 12:41pm | ! Report

              Tangy Fruits!!!

      • May 2nd 2018 @ 12:37pm
        Jeff said | May 2nd 2018 @ 12:37pm | ! Report

        “”BERNARD FOLEY: It only takes one win for the Tahs to break Australia’s Super Rugby drought””.

        And it will take only two wins this year for the Wallabies to win back the Bledisloe..

        But I am not holding my breath !!!!

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