New South Wales head into their early bye ensconced in the Super 14 top four, promising better and unashamed about a “silly” mistake which saw some damning assessments of Brumbies rivals become public.
Coach Ewen McKenzie defended the Waratahs after team plans – including notes on perceived strengths and weaknesses of individual opponents – were left pinned on a whiteboard in the post-match media room which also doubled as the Waratahs meeting room.
Jim Morton writes for Foxsport that among the weaknesses reportedly, were descriptions of some Brumbies as “soft”, “has a soft head” and “doesn’t like the physical aspect of the game”?
Even Australia players Mark Chisholm and Mark Gerrard had question marks put over them amid a youthful Brumbies outfit that fell 24-17 in the wet at Sydney Football Stadium on Friday night.
McKenzie took issue with some of the comments as reported in the Canberra Times, believing they would not have been written by NSW coaches, and denied he had anything to be red-faced or apologetic about.
“They’re certainly not inflammatory, they’re just database documents,” said McKenzie, who also denied they were strategically placed for the press to view. “They’re little tip sheets, everyone uses them.
“We normally clear the room up but obviously someone didn’t do that so I’ll sort that bit out. I’m not embarrassed about it.
“That’s one of the problems when you use your own building for stuff like that, inadvertently something was left on the wall.”
The Waratahs’ second half comeback from 17-10 down has propelled them into fourth place on the table on 13 points, behind the Sharks (17), Blues (16) and the Crusaders, who were to meet the Western Force tonight.
The unbeaten Sharks stole provisional top spot by holding on 22-17 against the Blues in Durban after jumping out of the blocks with a try in the opening 20 seconds.
NSW now have a week off before meeting the Crusaders in Christchurch where they must improve to overcome their 2005 grand final opponents.
“We’re certainly not believing that you’ve seen the best of us and we’re quite determined to play a lot better,” McKenzie said.
One area the Waratahs’ plans were on the money was in the lineout where they dominated, restricting the Brumbies to an unacceptable 60 per cent success rate from their own throws.
“We were towelled up there all night against the Waratahs and we’ve got to get better at it,” said Brumbies coach Laurie Fisher.
“They had done their homework on us and knew all our calls and basically just totally nailed us in that department.”Tweet