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Waratahs' Gordon dismisses Eden Park rugby hoodoo

(Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

It’s been a graveyard for Australian teams but skipper Jake Gordon says Auckland’s Eden Park holds no fears for the NSW Waratahs in Friday night’s Super Rugby Pacific showdown.


The Waratahs have been given almost no chance of pulling off an upset in their quarter-final, failing to topple the Blues in their last eight meetings including a record-breaking 55-21 loss in the sides’ last outing in April in Auckland.

No Australian side has won a play-off game in New Zealand in 27 years of Super Rugby while the Waratahs have lost their last seven at Eden Park, dating back to 2009, with the Wallabies last triumphant there way back in 1986.

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But halfback Gordon, who will be on the sidelines at Eden Park on Friday night due to concussion protocols, downplayed the significance of the venue.

“I don’t know if it so much about the park, it’s the guys we play against,” Gordon said from Auckland.

“You play the All Blacks here, they’ve been a pretty successful team over the 20 or 30 years and the Blues are a tough team, especially at the moment.

“They’ve got class across the park, but it’s not the stadium, it’s the opposition.”

Gordon said the Waratahs were bitterly disappointed with how they performed in spiritual leader Michael Hooper’s last home game, falling to previously winless Moana Pasifika last Saturday.


Friday’s game represented another chance to fittingly reward the veteran flanker but Gordon said his team needed to be at their best to do so.

“We’re very aware of how hard the challenge is going to be,” the Wallabies halfback said .

“What is important is that we focus on ourselves at the moment… we were finding some form so it’s important that we get back to that.

“We know what we look like when we play really good rugby and if we do that well we’ll nullify the strengths of the Blues and we’ve got a pretty good chance.”

While Gordon is out, replaced by Harrison Goddard, the War atahs got some much-needed good news this week with J ed Holloway, Langi Gleeson, Izzy Perese and Lalakai Foketi all passing fitness tests to play.


NSW will be hoping to get some pay at the lineout, with lock Holloway back on deck.

Holloway topped the regular season competition for lineouts, winning 87, nine more than any other player, with his 10 steals double the tally of the Blues’ best in Cameron Suafoa.


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