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How winless Waratahs plan to clinch miracle victory following Rob Penney's sacking

By AAP

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The NSW Waratahs maintain they can pull off a sporting miracle and break their season duck in one of the Super Rugby AU club’s most turbulent weeks in history.

The winless Waratahs are given next to no chance when they host the defending champion Brumbies at the SCG on Friday night.

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James O’Connor speaks to media ahead of Rebels clash
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James O’Connor speaks to media ahead of Rebels clash

Reeling in turmoil following last Sunday’s dramatic sacking of coach Rob Penney following three record defeats in five outings in 2021, the Waratahs are rated 10-1 long shots in a two-team race.

But returning skipper Jake Gordon defiantly insists the end goal must be to win despite the enormous odds stacked against them.

“We have to focus on our process to get there but we’ve got some tools in place that can benefit us and we think being professional athletes and competitive, we’re there to win,” Gordon said after Thursday’s captain’s run.

“We’ve got a great plan this week around how we’re going to nullify their attacking opportunities.

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“We know they’ve got a really strong set piece, a very big forward pack.

“Lennie (Ikitau) and Irae (Simone) are doing a really good job in the centres and they’ve got obviously Tom Wright back out wide.

“So great coverage across the field but we have a few tricks in there to I guess nullify their set piece.”

Gordon, who hasn’t played since suffering a high-ankle injury in round one, conceded Penney’s axing was a shock to the entire Waratahs system.

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“It’s a reality check for everybody here,” he said.

“In a high-performance environment, you’re never really safe and results dictate your future.

“It’s unlucky that it’s happened to Rob but it’s a reality check to the group that performance is the No.1 (priority) here.”

Gordon also confessed to being bewildered by the Tahs’ abject start to the season, despite the franchise enduring a mass exodus of senior players and a wretched run with injury.

“It’s been hard,” the halfback said.

“If you’d asked me at the start of the year, I wouldn’t have expected this to happen.

“It has been very hard to watch.”

Gordon said he knew he had fully recovered from his syndesmosis after getting through a hearty contact session on Tuesday.

“The biggest thing is tackling in the same position and it felt really good so I’m ready to go,” he said.

“I’m rehabbed. Some are a lot harder (sessions) than the training sessions. I’ve been doing a lot of conditioning so I’m in fairly good nick.”

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How winless Waratahs plan to clinch miracle victory following Rob Penney's sacking

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