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'Everyone's blood's boiling': Waratahs target 'revenge story' in 2022

(Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

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It’s an old cliche that what doesn’t kill you will only make you stronger.

For the NSW Waratahs, that cliche is also reality.

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Picking the 2022 Super Rugby Pacific champions | Aotearoa Rugby Pod
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Picking the 2022 Super Rugby Pacific champions | Aotearoa Rugby Pod

After an unprecedented winless campaign last year, the Waratahs kick-off their 2022 Super Rugby Pacific season on Friday night following an unbeaten trial run.

The mood in the camp from last year and now, after dam-busting wins over the Brumbies, Queensland Reds and combined Shute Shield opposition, is like chalk and cheese.

The Tahs have no doubt that last year’s trials and tribulations have helped them bounce back stronger.

“If you were in our change rooms after a couple of our losses last year, you’d know that it’s not a very nice place to be,” Waratahs hardman Will Harris said on Tuesday.


“And pretty much everyone in our squad was in those change rooms and knows what that felt like and is really determined not to feel like that again.

“It’s not very nice.”

As tough as last year was, Harris says the despair and humiliation of defeat after defeat after defeat – for 13 matches in total – was also character building.

“It’s a bit of a revenge story, isn’t it? Everyone’s sort of blood’s boiling after last year,” he said.


“Although we weren’t getting the results on the field and that was tough, the group still stayed really tight, which is a credit to all the boys.

“There were no chinks in the group. We all stayed really close. There’s a lot of love and we’re all buying in for each other at the moment.


“As far as mindset changes, it’s just been nice to win a couple of games.

“Winning makes a big difference for me personally and I know the Waratahs as an organisation, everything is about winning.

“Professional sport is all about winning and we’ve got a few wins under our belt now. They’re only trials. We know that means nothing and we’ve got no points on the board but just winning is a habit.

“Now we’ve got a few on the board, hopefully that can continue.”

Harris says facing the Fijian Drua at Parramatta’s Bankwest Stadium in the competition newcomers’ eagerly awaited debut is a “privilege”.

“We didn’t win a game and were’ really excited about putting our best foot forward this weekend and trying to win our first Super Rugby game in a while,” the back-rower said.

The Drua upset the Melbourne Rebels in their one and only trial last week to provide early vindication for inclusion after serving a three-year apprenticeship in the National Rugby Championship.


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