Anyone can contribute to The Roar and have their work featured alongside some of Australia’s most prominent sports journalists.
The Waratahs are coming off a bye and are desperate for their first win of the Super Rugby season when they host the Lions this evening at Bankwest Stadium. Join The Roar for live scores and a blog of the match from 7.15 pm AEDT.
It has been a tale of woe so far for the Waratahs this season, with three defeats coming from their opening three matches. Whether the bye has come at a good or bad time for NSW will be more clear after tonight’s contest against the Lions.
The Waratahs just haven’t been able to produce a performance that captivates fans this season, and it will take more than just a win against the Lions to win back the local faithful.
Throw in the fact that the Waratahs are actually on a six-match winless streak stretching into last season and the numbers are very bleak for the 2014 champions – it is little wonder why fans are staying away.
With that said, an ugly win tonight will be a valuable first step for a Waratahs outfit devoid of confidence. The Lions themselves aren’t fairing much better, with just the one win from three matches – a victory over the Reds in South Africa three weeks back.
The Lions are in a rebuilding phase at the moment, losing a lot of the players that formed the key nucleus of the side that made consecutive Super Rugby finals in 2017-18.
The key to both side tonight will be the performances from Kurtley Beale and Andries Coetzee. Beale is struggling to show his class while Coetzee is also aiming to get back in the Springbok frame after a few years on the fringe.
Whoever can raise their game between the two will go a long way to dictating who wins.
The Waratahs are certainly the team under more pressure tonight. The Lions are rebuilding and not much is expected from them this season, but a competitive showing against the Stormers a fortnight ago bodes well for their cause for a win against an NSW team still in a dark tunnel.
Lions to win.
Time: 7.15pm Fox Sports
Venue: Bankwest Stadium
Coverage: Live FoxSports, Kayo Sports
Betting: Waratahs $1.59, Lions $2.38
1. Angus Bell, 2. Robbie Abel, 3. Harry Johnson-Holmes, 4. Tom Staniforth, 5. Rob Simmons (c), 6. Lachlan Swinton, 7. Michael Hooper, 8. Jack Dempsey, 9. Jake Gordon, 10. Will Harrison, 11. Jack Maddocks, 12. Karmichael Hunt, 13. Alex Newsome, 14. Mark Nawaqanitawase, 15. Kurtley Beale
16. Damien Fitzpatrick, 17. Tom Robertson, 18. Tetera Faulkner, 19. Ryan McCauley, 20. Jed Holloway, 21. Mitch Short, 22. Lalakai Foketi, 23. James Ramm
1. Dylan Smith, 2. Jan-Henning Campher, 3. Carlu Sadie, 4. Ruben Schoeman, 5. Marvin Orie, 6. Marnus Schoeman, 7. Vincent Tshituka, 8. Len Massyn, 9. Andre Warner, 10. Elton Jantjies (c), 11. Jamba Ulenga, 12. Daniel Kriel, 13. Manuel Rass, 14. Tyrone Green, 15. Andries Coetzee
16. Pieter Jansen, 17. Sithembiso Sithole, 18. Frans van Wyk, 19. Willem Alberts, 20. Wilhelm VD Sluys, 21. Hacjivah Dayimani, 22. Morne VD Berg, 23. Wandisile Simelane