Vice-captain Alex Newsome has laid bare the feeling of despair and humiliation inside the walls of the NSW Waratahs as their Super Rugby season from hell continues.
Winless in 11 games, the Waratahs leaked another 54 points on the weekend and have conceded an average of 56 points a game in three heavy Trans-Tasman defeats to the Crusaders, Blues and Hurricanes.
“Massively deflating,” Newsome said after squirming through another brutal review on Monday.
“You go out and have a feed with your mates at the pub and they’re almost too scared to ask you about how footy’s going because they know that you haven’t won a game all year.”
The winger said it was impossible to explain the “lazy” efforts in defence week in, week out and that the Waratahs had run out of excuses as professional footballers.
“They’re embarrassing reviews,” Newsome said.
“We’ve got guys being accountable in the reviews but it’s too late then, isn’t it? That’s what’s disappointing.”
Australian sides are a collective one from 15 against New Zealand opposition, but Newsome said the Waratahs needed to draw inspiration from the Queensland Reds’ hoodoo-busting win over the Chiefs on Saturday, as well as the barnstorming form of NSW centre Izaia Perese.
“We’ve just got to stop putting all these Kiwi sides on a pedestal and look at what the Reds did in that first half on Saturday night and look at what Izzy’s been doing to defences and just rip into them,” he said.
“When Australian sides are really confrontational and just backing themselves, you can just see what they can do.
“Everyone’s two arms, two legs and a heartbeat. Everyone’s built the same.
“So obviously it’s been a shocker of a year but we’re looking to finish with two wins and we’re fair dinkum about that.”
Defence coach Jason Gilmore, who’s put his hand up to take on the head coaching role following the mid-season sacking of Rob Penney, said the Waratahs needed some serious soul searching to emerge from their darkest season on record.
“You can’t sugarcoat it, that’s for sure. Some boys are going to have a good, hard look at themselves and front up this week,” Gilmore said.
“When you’re playing against the Kiwi sides, you’ve got to stay alert. You can’t clock off for a second.
“It’s the first time we’ve played the Kiwi sides for a while and the speed of the game has probably caught us on the hop a bit.”