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'Need to pull my finger out': Wallabies centre on Tahs' slow start

(Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

No player is taking more responsibility for the NSW Waratahs’ shabby start to the Super Rugby Pacific season than Izaia Perese.


Dejected Waratahs captain Jake Gordon called on teammates to look in the mirror and take accountability for their individual errors after last Friday night’s 34-17 loss to the Hurricanes in Wellington.

Perese, the Waratahs’ player of the year in 2021, has done just that, candidly conceding “I need to pull my finger out”.

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“Look, I definitely haven’t hit where I want to be but I just need to be more patient with myself,” the strike centre said on Tuesday.

“It’s been a slow start but hopefully it will come in games.

“There’s no ‘why’. I just need to pull my finger out.

“Everyone, when it comes to effort and caring and wanting to win, it’s there.

“It’s just getting the chemistry right.”

Back-rower Lachie Swinton said every player across the board had put their hand up during Monday’s brutal review of the Tahs’ third loss from four starts this campaign and admitted to being below their best.

“Lads put their hand up but that can only get you so far. We can’t use it as an excuse anymore,” Swinton said.


“But it all does start with making yourselves accountable and then holding each other to that.


“Just lapses in concentration. We’ve identified that and we’ve got to perform.”


As if taking on the Hurricanes at Sky Stadium wasn’t a tough enough assignment, the Waratahs return home on Friday night to host the unbeaten table-topping Chiefs.


“They make you pay for little dropped balls and that. They’re straight onto it and they’ll skin you for things like that,” Swinton said.

“So we’ve got to really tighten up that aspect of our game, That will be massive for us.

“Playing the Kiwi teams, it can always be a bit personal but I don’t think there’ll be any lack of motivation from our boys.


“We’ve got a point to prove.”


With the second-placed Brumbies in Canberra to follow in round six, the next two games loom as season-defining for the Waratahs.

“It’s a home game so we’ve definitely got to show up and really put one on,” Perese said.

The crunch match against the Chiefs is the second in a double-header, with the NSW Waratahs Women up against the Western Force in the opening game of the 2023 Super W season.


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