NSW Waratahs

All aboard the Tah Bandwagon

All aboard the Tah Bandwagon

Waratahs 37 – Blues 16

There were 40 foot high billboards saying “SEASON TURNING POINT” on this game for the Tahs and they stood up just when it mattered. As there were so many outstanding performances I thought I’d spray a few thoughts at some player ratings.

15. Two Dads (Norton-Knight). Brought some welcome experience and nouse into the backline as demonstrated by his pass to set up LT 7/10

14. Lachie Turner Looking much better back in to wing using his pace, not the full package yet as his bungling of a 3 on 2 overlap showed 7/10

13. Ben Jacobs. Apart from the missed tackle on Nuck Ivuns to set up a Blues try there wasn’t much to remember, apart from maybe a line break off Beale’s shoulder. 6/10

12 Tom Carter. Read above, although smashed his head and put some work in. 6.5/10

11 Lote Tuqiri Tireless. Determined performance in attack and defense rewarded with a try 8/10

10. Kurtley Beale Every game he improves that little bit more. Kicking looked better because he did it less. Nice hands and showed Ivuns up. Kicked five from seven(?) 7.5/10

9. Luke Burgess. Magic. A classic half back performance (i.e. played as a back, not another forward) the likes of which I’ve not seen for a long time. Pacey – how beautiful was it when he turned Rokocoko inside out – as well as great ball control and snappy passing. For an earlier prediction of greatness from Coatsie, see here 8.5/10

8. Palu 120kgs of line breaking power. A little one dimensional in that regard but does the job asked of him. 7.5/10

7. Waugh . A legend. He was fµcking everywhere; try making tackles, intercepts, runs and snaffles. Almost had a try or two himself. His leading by example set the tone for the rest of the team and he single handedly took Ivuns out of the game with some classic (late) hits. 9/10

6. Dean Mumm. Pretty much a third second rower, but it kind of worked. A spark for the future?7/10

5. Vicks Reclaimed his lineout king status. Restarts were excellent, pick and drives up. 8/10

4. Will Caldwell Outshone by Mumm and Vicks. 6.5/10

3. Dunning . Still some question marks in the scrum. 6/10

2. Paloto-Nau Coming into his own. Dynamic in the loose, including a break away try, and throwing was strong. 8/10

1. Bennn Robinson. Like Dunning some questions in the scrum, but was dynamic in the loose. Had the fend locked and loaded this week. 7.5/10

Horne – gave me one with his tackling and pace through the line. For a skinny youngster speed freak, he took nothing away from the team when he came into the centres.
Mafi – Fantastic break that needed finishing, but he and Horne gave the team the kind of attacking edge that they’ve been missing
Lyons – Good impact but needs the game time

Overall: Just what the Tahs needed, although in truth the Blues never really turned up. If the Tahs can keep improving from here they’ll push for a semi, but there are some pretty tough away games before then.

NSW Waratahs

Matt started G&GR just before the 2007 Rugby World Cup and has been enslaved ever since. Follow him on twitter: @MattRowley

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