NSW Waratahs

Crusaders vs Waratahs Super 14 score & review

Crusaders vs Waratahs Super 14 score & review

Crusaders 34 – Waratahs 7.

For 50 minutes it looked like the Waratahs might have kept this one close. Heroic defence, most notably by the captain Phil Waugh, and contest at the breakdown knocked the Crusaders off their usual stride and forced them into errors and turnovers. It was 6-0 at the break and soon after it, a nifty offload in a tackle by Sheehan to a charging Palota-Nau set up a easy jog in for Palu. 6-7.

However, this was one of the few real attacking threats posed by the Waratahs. Besides ‘give it to Lote’ the only other option seemed to be a non-existent kicking game. As for the Crusaders, they obviously had a chat at half time and decided to switch to plan B – keep it tight in the forwards.

In the 53rd minute, the Canterbury 13 Laulala chased a bomb, claimed it and then sped to the line with Turner and Tuqiri snatching at jersey. This was the jab with the left, and when not long after the Crusaders forward pack pick and drove its way inexorably to the line for Tuialii to score, the right hook spelled lights out at 20-7.

The Tahs pack had tackled itself to a stand still, and the home side ground them slowly but surely into the turf for the remainder of the match. The one highlight being a lightning break from Elsom that couldn’t be finished.

Losing in Canterbury isn’t itself a disaster – hey it happens to everyone – but the lack of any ideas behind the pack, whether it be ball to hand or boot, is becoming worrying. Up here Sean Fitzpatrick commented, with a smug grin on his face, that the Tahs are a mid-table team at best. From todays evidence, it’s hard to argue with the bastard.

NSW Waratahs
@MattRowley

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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