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Coleman: Waratahs down but not out after disappointing start

Waratahs' Michael Hooper (C) looks on during the Super Rugby match between the NSW Waratahs and ACT Brumbies at Allianz Stadium in Sydney on February 24, 2023. (Photo by SAEED KHAN / AFP) / -- IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE -- (Photo by SAEED KHAN/AFP /AFP via Getty Images)

A 1-3 start to their Super Rugby campaign has hit the Waratahs’ hopes of a top-four finish but coach Darren Coleman says his side can turn their season around.


Coach Darren Coleman remains confident the NSW Waratahs can turn around a Super Rugby Pacific season that started with high expectations but has so far brought only one win from four games.

Friday’s 34-17 loss to the Hurricanes came after another error-prone performance from the Wallabies-laden Waratahs, whose much-vaunted attack has so far failed to fire consistently in the campaign.

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In his first season in charge, Coleman transformed the Waratahs from a hapless outfit that went winless in 2021 to finals contenders, but his target of a top-four finish this year now looks like a big ask.

“We are not talking top four at the moment. It looks too far in the distance,” he told reporters in Wellington.

“If we can scramble a win over the next two weeks – the Chiefs at home or the next week against the Brumbies – we’ve got a pretty favourable run home.

“Five of our final eight are at home. We’re still in it, but we’ve got to dig our way out of this form slump we’re in at the moment and get some belief and confidence back.”



The problem for Coleman is that the Waikato Chiefs and ACT Brumbies were the only unbeaten sides after the first three rounds of the competition, with the latter having beaten the Waratahs in their season opener.

Coleman conceded he had probably underestimated the difficulty of their opening four matches with only one at home, and he was clearly looking forward to getting back to the Sydney Football Stadium for the Chiefs match next Friday.

“We don’t want to be going into the bye 1-5, there’s no doubt about that,” he said.


“But that’s my job, to get us back up to go again next week. By no means is the season over, by any stretch.”


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