Waratahs hope for big Crusade

The Waratahs, with five defeats and a draw in their last six matches, are desperate to bounce back against the fast improving Crusaders in their Super 14 Round Nine match in Sydney this coming Saturday.

Following their 34-6 hammering at the hands of the table-topping Blues last Friday, which have them stuck at second from the bottom of the standings, the Waratahs will be looking to make a big step up against the third-placed Crusaders – who have now won three of their last four matches.

While it is very much a case of “back to the drawing board” after their loss to the Blues, Waratahs captain Adam Freier said his team is looking forward to taking on the Crusaders.

“We love playing the Crusaders, especially at Aussie Stadium. It is going to be a big match for us,” he said.

However, Freier admitted that his team will have a lot of work to do this week.

“Structurally we’re letting ourselves down,” Freier said about his team’s poor run this season – in which they have only one win (against the Lions in Round One) to show.

“We just need to nullify those little things. It is those little things that when you do them well they create luck. At the moment we have no luck, because we do the simple things poorly.

“We’ve got some young guys out there who have to replace guys with monumental Test experience – Dan Vickerman and Phil Waugh – and they’re places that are pretty hard to fill.”

Freier said the Blues were by far the most physical side they (the Waratahs) had played this year.

“They were very, very good in defence and also in attack … running great lines. They just got over the advantage line every time. It was an outstanding effort by the Blues and we were just not up to it.”

Freier also described the scrums as a lottery, after Wallaby tighthead prop Al Baxter was penalised in the first two scrums against the Blues and the Waratahs were constantly under pressure thereafter.

“It’s a bit of a lucky dip there,” he said of the scrums.

“We need to rectify that. We want good flowing footy, but I’m sure the referees know what they’re doing.”

Waratahs coach Ewen McKenzie struggled to find words to explain his team’s poor form.

McKenzie said that while there were some improvements in his side’s game against the Blues, there were other areas where it had been very poor.

“They had strategies in place to cope with us,” he said.

“From my perspective in the grandstand, they [the Blues] seem to have a very complete game. They are on top of their game mentally, they have speed, they seem to find space and the interaction between the backs and forwards is good,” he said.


365 Digital

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