After a short-lived run as Australia’s most hyped super rugby side, the Waratahs are once again embracing underdog tag as they prepare to face the Hurricanes in Wellington on Friday.
The game begins with a tough series of games against three of the top four teams, a home game against leaders Chiefs after Friday’s away game and a trip to Canberra to face the Brumbies before a bye week.
After a poor performance against the Rebels in Melbourne, NSW manager Darren Coleman said it was clear the team had failed to cope with the pressure that followed unexpected successes in 2022.
“It will be good to be the underdogs again. Whether it was our doing, the press doing, or the people doing, we got talked into it a little bit and we didn’t really like it,” Coleman said.
“We didn’t really shoot with that coat so I’m looking forward to coming to New Zealand as an underdog against a pretty strong Hurricanes team who are playing well.”
No.6 Lachie Swinton will be available despite concerns with a foot injury, but second rower Hugh Sinclair will miss four to six weeks with a fractured shoulder blade.
With All Blacks No. 8 Ardie Savea set to return to the Hurricanes’ starting XI, the collapse will be a key battleground. The Waratahs were unusually punished for attacks in this area against the Rebels, turning the ball over 15 times in the game. Waratah’s forward coach Pauli Taumoepeau said it was about not winning the race to the point of collapse.
“Since it’s a simple bug, hopefully it’s an easy fix,” he said. “That’s what we brought to light in our review, and we’re up against the Hurricanes who seem to have thieves all over this front line defense. We have to do our best there and that’s the ball carrier too, so the focus is on winning the race to the competition.”
https://www.smh.com.au/sport/rugby-union/underdogs-again-waratahs-prepare-for-hostile-hurricanes-20230313-p5crjq.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_sport Lachie Swinton injury update, NSW Waratahs prepare for underdog day as they brace for hurricanes