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Flailing Waratahs desperate to avoid wooden spoon

By AAP
Jake Gordon of the Waratahs leads the team out onto the field during the round 13 Super Rugby Pacific match between Western Force and NSW Waratahs at HBF Park, on May 18, 2024, in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

NSW Waratahs coach Darren Coleman isn’t sure if he’ll be given the chance to lead next year’s rebuild, but he doesn’t want 2024 to end with a wooden spoon.

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The last-placed Waratahs slumped to a 2-10 record on Saturday night after crashing to a 27-7 Super Rugby Pacific loss to the Western Force in Perth.

The Waratahs led 7-0 after eight minutes, but conceded the next 27 points on the way to another disappointing defeat.

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The result was all the more disappointing given it was captain Jake Gordon’s 100-match milestone.

Points Flow Chart

Force win +20
Time in lead
66
Mins in lead
5
80%
% Of Game In Lead
6%
62%
Possession Last 10 min
38%
0
Points Last 10 min
0

Coleman is about to come out of contract, with his future to be decided during a review at the end of the season.

Given the Waratahs’ dire results this season, Coleman’s three-year reign looks unlikely to continue.

“It’s not great, but that’s the job you take,” Coleman said of the coaching uncertainty.

“People pat you on the back when you’re winning and it’s tough when you’re losing, that’s professional sports.

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“Although I’m not proud of this year’s results at all, I’ve still got a great job.”

Attack

145
Passes
173
90
Ball Carries
122
156m
Post Contact Metres
239m
8
Line Breaks
4

With the Waratahs a whopping nine points adrift of eighth spot with only two rounds remaining, Coleman has directed his team’s focus to avoiding the wooden spoon.

The Waratahs (12 points) can leapfrog 11th-placed Moana Pasifika (14 points) when they face off next Saturday.

The 10th-placed Crusaders (15 points) are also within touching distance of the Waratahs.

After taking on Moana away from home, NSW will finish their season hosting the Reds.

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“No-one wants that wooden spoon, so we’ll busting our arse to finish with two more wins and perform better than we did (against the Force),” Coleman said.

Waratahs prop Lewis Ponini is in doubt for the final two matches after limping off against the Force, adding to the team’s horror injury woes.

While things are doom-and-gloom at the Waratahs, the Force are daring to dream of snaring a finals berth after posting back-to-back wins for the first time this season.

The Force are just two points adrift of eighth-placed Fijian Drua, but they face tough matches against the Queensland Reds (away) and the Brumbies (home) to round out the season.

Their confidence is sky high after following up their 48-10 demolition of Fijian Drua with a crushing win over the Waratahs.

“Something we spoke about as a forward group is that all year we haven’t had a back-to-back win, so that gives us confidence,” Force captain Jeremy Williams said.

“But we won’t be celebrating too long.

“We know the position we’re in, and we move on to the Reds.”

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1 Comment
j
john 31 days ago

Coleman is gaawwwwnnn.

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