NSW Waratahs

Video analysis: Tahs forgotten men

Video analysis: Tahs forgotten men

At the beginning of the year those of us without a complex about the Tahs were all a-quiver about what their backline might do. Since that point it’s an understatement to say that fans and detractors alike have been underwhelmed. Key names in the firing line have included Beale, Tahu and Burgess, of whom I pulled together a few clips from last weekend below.

The Tahs backline performance against the Sharks in Durban on the weekend was a humdinger. Not of the ‘Quade Cooper on a BBQ day’ variety, but on the  ‘high pressure test rugby away from home in the rain’ sort. As Dingo was talking about in the week – the type that the Wallabies need to develop this year.

In a way, Burgess sitting on the bench for a few weeks has just served as a reminder of the completely different game he allows his team to play. The speed of clearance and momentum that gives the team is night and day vs anyone else. In the very first section of the play after he was subbed the Tahs went backwards 20m with ball in hand – all due to slower ball from the more ‘accurate’ Sheehan.

Beale is becoming a revelation at 12 – he seems freer to add his touches and concentrate on his game rather than running the whole shooting match. He’s also manning up more – it’s him you got under Du Plessis denying the Sharks a match winning try. Credit to Hangers though, who tackled like a limpet all through Saturdays game.

Finally we’re also getting glimpses of what the Tahu hype was all about. It’s leaguish – a jink, a strong straight run and an offload – but it’s working, and he’s got an understanding with Beale.

I should also say that Lakky had a great game at the back. Worked his arse off and saved the match with a 1:1 open line tackle on Ndngane, who really should have scored.

So the Tahs backline – finding some form at the pointy end?

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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