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'Run over any team': Waratahs remain upbeat despite losing run

By AAP
Tane Edmed of the Waratahs reacts after missing a penalty goal to win the match during the round three Super Rugby Pacific match between NSW Waratahs and Highlanders at Allianz Stadium, on March 08, 2024, in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

Defiantly optimistic, the NSW Waratahs firmly believe they can still win the Super Rugby Pacific title despite starting their 2024 campaign with a one-from-five record.

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Far from deflating the Waratahs, last week’s 39-36 golden-point loss to the Fijian Drua in sapping conditions in Lautoka has only raised confidence levels within the group.

So says lock Miles Amatosero, who reckons a Waratahs roll on is just around the corner after the Drua near miss followed two-point home losses to the Blues and Highlanders.

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“To be able to contend with these top teams, it’s exciting times,” Amatosero said on Tuesday.

“It’s a really good spot that we feel like we’re in at the moment because in moments we can really see what we can do.

“We’ve probably just been a centimetre off and that’s exciting, that’s a good thing that energy-wise we’re in a really good space at the moment to move forward and beat these top teams.

“Every week we’re getting better and better and it’s just exciting to see where we’re going to go from here.”

Fixture
Super Rugby Pacific
Waratahs
21 - 27
Full-time
Rebels
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Three successive bonus-points plus a round-two victory over the defending champion Crusaders has left the 10th-placed Tahs only two points out of the top eight, and just one win from potentially sixth spot a third of the way through the competition.

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“We’re seeing what we can do now and, focusing on our game, I believe we’ll run over any team that gets put in front of us,” Amatosero said.

“Obviously it’s pretty frustrating to have lost because last week we were so close and most of these games we were winning for most of it.

“It’s just those little decisions, even though they might be minor decisions or little mistakes, they are enough to dictate a game.

“So it’s just fixing that minor decision that you might not think is a big deal, getting those things right.

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“I don’t think we ever want to panic.”

The Waratahs are hosting the Melbourne Rebels at Allianz Stadium on Friday night in what shapes as a genuine must-win encounter.

“We’ve got to come out firing,” Amatosero said.

“We’re definitely a team that might be able to swing things in the later half but if we just come out ready to go, guns blazing from the beginning and put our foot on their throat, it won’t give them a chance to play.”

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Wonton 6 hours ago
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One game against Fiji is not enough to show that a player is ready to play the likes of South Africa. Spreading the ball wide too much increases the risk of turnovers and we turned the ball over 20 times against Fiji which is a lot more than what we did in the two England tests. We actually turned the ball over the same amount of times (20) against England in the 2019 semi final which we lost. Fiji didn’t make us pay for those turnovers but other teams will. In the 2nd test against England this year we had 100% success rate on attacking rucks. That’s the first time the AB’s have achieved this since the 2019 opening game of the RWC against South Africa. South Africa won last years RWC and Jesse Kriel did not pass once. The days of the Conrad Smith type centre might be over. Also Conrad Smith debuted in 2004 but he did not become an incumbent until Nonu did also in 2008. As for Rieko Ioane he and Jordie Barrett put in some very strong midfield hits in the 2nd test forcing turnovers several times. Rieko Ioane hasn’t played wing in years. If Proctor is moved to 13 then the best I think Ioane can hope for is an impact player off the bench. He does not have the aerial game of Caleb Clarke or the workrate of Tele’a for 11 and going to be selected over Jordan at 14. However its much too early to replace Rieko with Proctor. Rieko was excellent in the knock out rounds of the RWC. All Proctor has to show on his test CV is a good game against Fiji.

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Nick 7 hours ago
How 'gazelle' Nick Frost thawed the hearts of Wallaby fans at Suncorp

Its almost like you read my comment on the other site on sunday morning Nick - you flagged all the same examples! 😝 Frost was motm for mine. That eg in the 56th minute in particular impressed me, nothing but sheer effort and a dupont/smith-like tracking line behind the D. Surely an effort like that from frost marries perfectly with that quote from schmidt at the start of the year about effort and work rate being 70-80% and talent is just the icing on top… What it also showed though was the players not making that effort, in that example he goes past both valetini and ikitau, and in the eg that finished with valetini scoring hunter paisami barely breaks a canter to support the break. And then there was the chase from wright and lancaster for the 2nd georgian try! One blemish - at kickoff I saw frost miss or get bumped off a few tackles and I felt like I saw what has been holding his selection back. I think because he is so big and is trying to get low to tackle, he seems to dip his head and ends up losing his balance or ability to adjust and ends up missing or making a soft hit. I think in the first 2 minutes he misses or makes 2-3 soft tackles, but you could clearly see the work rate and desire! He (the pod) also missed a kick restart or two? Also very happy to see harry wilson back in the fold. What impressed me from him wasn’t all the usual stuff he is known for, but all the other bits that usually let him down. He looked surprisingly good in the air at lineout time, physical at the breakdown, and good in the maul peeling off 3 georgians for one of the maul tries. Id have frost, skelton, wright as my 4-6 with LSL and wilson on the bench. i’m once again unconvinced by tom wirght - he was very good game 1, but game 2-3 he was back to more rocks than diamonds. There is no real other player to usurp him really so he stays in the team for now but I think Joe should put kellaway wherever he serves the team best and wright can be moved around him. Did donno do enough to overtake noah? My gut says no. They clearly had a plan to attack more so he looked better in that regard because he just had more opportunity, but they looked better off tate (who had a v good game also) then they did off donno.

18 Go to comments
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