Who will stop the Tahs?

Written by Willem Jordaan (Rooiwillie)

Posted in :Original Content, Super Rugby on 27 Feb 2011 at 18:33
Tagged with : , , ,

It is the end of week two’s matches of the new Super 15 competition and a look at the overall table sees the Waratahs sitting pretty on 10 log points. This after two comprehensive bonus point victories over the Rebels and Reds, the last of which was tipped to be their strongest competition in their conference. I have a strong feeling that at the top of the log is where the Waratahs will remain for the rest of this season.

The Australian has widely been earmarked as the weakest conference in the Super 15 competition. In addition to this there is in my opinion the biggest imbalance in this conference with the Waratahs standing head and shoulders above the other Australian teams this year. The new format entails that the Waratahs will play half of their matches against their countrymen in the regular season, who they should not really have too many problems with I suspect. Yes, I think the Waratahs will win 7-8 of the 8 matches against local opposition and will pick up a fair few bonus points in the process.

Let us have a look at the other teams in the Australian conference to support my case. The Rebels are the new kids on the block and the Waratahs have already beaten them with a bonus point away from home and should do so again when they play at home. The Force ended second to last in 2010. It must be said that their season was plagued with injuries but that just highlights their lack in depth. They have also lost a key attacking player in Ryan Cross to the Waratahs. The Brumbies just do not pose the same threat this year as they have in the past. This was evident in their recent loss to the Rebels, a team the Waratahs thrashed 43-0 a week before. The Reds had a much improved season last year and have generated considerable hype and expectation. One good season does not make a truly great team though and they were outclassed by the Waratahs over the weekend. I ask myself the question whether the Sharks, Bulls or Stormers would beat one other so comprehensively with four tries to none in our (South African) conference…

Let’s have a look at the games the Waratahs will play against teams of the foreign conferences: The Waratahs do not play the Stormers and the Hurricanes in the regular season this year. Two strong teams to elude, with the aforementioned being the team who knocked them out of the competition last year – that game was played in Cape Town though. They have home games against the Cheetahs, Chiefs, Lions and Highlanders. They should be too strong for these teams, especially at home, and will in all probability pick up four wins here with a few bonus points to boot. The away games against the Crusaders, Blues, Sharks and Bulls will be their biggest challenge. It is absolutely vital that these four teams make sure they beat the Waratahs and give away no bonus points if there is any chance of a different team leading the log come the playoffs. I fear though that even this might not be enough.

Besides the fact that the Tahs have a reasonably easy ride to the top of the log compared to the teams in South Africa and New Zealand they actually have a very strong squad full of experience. They are a quality outfit and have been in the top five on the log for the past three seasons. They are a real physical outfit and have outmuscled many a team in the past; I do not have to remind Sharks fans of this. They have good depth, solid defence and a potent attack. Their style of play it would seem has also changed – the rugby they dished up over the last two weekends is far from boring, a term many have used to describe their play in the past.

As stated in the opening paragraph I predict the Waratahs to be at the top of the log at the end of the regular season. With the additional playoff matches before the semis it will be extremely difficult to beat the top two teams in the semis. I feel then that the team placed second overall come the playoffs will have the best chance to beat the Waratahs in the final. They will have to do so in Sydney though and with exciting players like Drew Mitchell and Kurtley Beale (my has this guy’s rugby improved) and the most capped Waratah of all time, Phil Waugh, at the realm few could argue that this will be a very difficult prospect.


  • Who will stop the Tahs? We will.

  • Comment 1, posted at 27.02.11 18:55:14 by SharonvanWyk Reply
  • The answer to that heading is easy.

    Anybody with a team better than the very poorly Aussie conference teams.

  • Comment 2, posted at 27.02.11 18:57:03 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • Bit early to start hyping these boys up. Aussie clashes tend to be high-scoring, so the bonus points aren’t indicative on their own.

    The competition is a long one, and whereas some teams, such as the Blues, tend to start strong, others, such as the Chiefs and Crusaders peak later.

    The Waratahs will be tough, but I feel its way too early to be calling them based on their flaying of the newbies and a notoriously hot-and-cold Reds team.

  • Comment 3, posted at 27.02.11 19:02:09 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • Outta here for the night, gents. Early start tomorrow, much to do… And to the Boys in Black and White – enjoy the tour, give em hell and bring back the bacon…

  • Comment 4, posted at 27.02.11 19:07:16 by SharonvanWyk Reply
  • The thing is: seems as if they will top of overall log,have a bye ,and then have a home semi -with a possible home final.. What were us kiwi and saf administrators thinking when they agreed to this????

  • Comment 5, posted at 27.02.11 19:22:24 by bergshark Reply

  • @bergshark (Comment 5) :

    O’Neill is no fool.

  • Comment 6, posted at 27.02.11 19:24:49 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • Did I just write “us kiwi”??

  • Comment 7, posted at 27.02.11 19:25:05 by bergshark Reply

  • We will stop them,we have not seen the best of the sharks because of the conditions we have to play in.

  • Comment 8, posted at 27.02.11 19:30:32 by Honey Badger Reply

    Honey Badger
  • If we want to top the log we just have to win all our games.

  • Comment 9, posted at 27.02.11 19:31:23 by Honey Badger Reply

    Honey Badger
  • Easy conference or not,the tahs still have to win there games just like any other team.

  • Comment 10, posted at 27.02.11 19:32:30 by Honey Badger Reply

    Honey Badger
  • If the Aussie conference is so easy it will be in our favour.

  • Comment 11, posted at 27.02.11 19:33:57 by Honey Badger Reply

    Honey Badger
  • It is like Federer vs Nadal

    Federer is the better player,he cruises through his rounds in straight sets.

    Nadal always have a game or two that he struggles and need to grind it out.

    And when the 2 meet Nadal had the games where he had to give it his all where Federer then struggles to lift his game in time even though he is better,that is why Nadal leads in head to head.

  • Comment 12, posted at 27.02.11 19:37:51 by Honey Badger Reply

    Honey Badger
  • You make some very good points in the article but things can change. A case in point is the latest news out of the Tahs camp is that Phil Waugh is out for 3 months, huge loss for them.

  • Comment 13, posted at 27.02.11 20:41:36 by war1 Reply
  • easy answer: We Will

  • Comment 14, posted at 27.02.11 20:50:09 by RuckingFun Reply

  • the crusaders this weekend will be the first im sure…once the wheel gets a puncture it always comes off sooner or later…

    a little of the topic but hell is keo by the devil…there is always so much violence in terms of racism and site i have stopped going to from tonite…

    rob at least has good rules in place…saddens me that the average rugby supporter can be such a demining person

  • Comment 15, posted at 27.02.11 22:52:20 by shaniboi Reply

  • The LIONS will….

  • Comment 16, posted at 27.02.11 23:26:01 by Hmmm Reply

  • @shaniboi (Comment 15) : I’ve went for the Waratahs on superbru! 🙂

  • Comment 17, posted at 27.02.11 23:44:35 by Ben Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @shaniboi (Comment 15) : we work tirelessly to ensure that we NEVER become that sort of site.

  • Comment 18, posted at 28.02.11 00:32:29 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • Saders will win this weekend.

  • Comment 19, posted at 28.02.11 07:32:14 by Jarson (AddicteD) Reply
    Competition WinnerCompetition WinnerCompetition Winner
  • Yeah pretty strong on match day 22… But how is there depth? Because it will be tested in each of the 15 teams this year. And this is where I think we might just have the edge over the others?

  • Comment 20, posted at 28.02.11 07:57:16 by SharksRTB Reply

  • So Waugh has gone from 3 months out, to probably playing this weekend…

  • Comment 21, posted at 28.02.11 08:56:35 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • Must say, that is a dog of a tour for the Tahs. :mrgreen:

  • Comment 22, posted at 28.02.11 10:02:45 by klempie Reply

  • @klempie (Comment 22) : Would it be enough to knock them out of top spot though? 😕

  • Comment 23, posted at 28.02.11 10:29:58 by Original Champion Reply
    Original Pierre
  • They’ll stop themselves. They always do.

  • Comment 24, posted at 28.02.11 10:54:29 by Speed7 Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 21) : I see Rugby365 pulled the 3 months out story from their website as well. Shows that a proper diagnosis of an injury needs to be done before announcing something to the media.

  • Comment 25, posted at 28.02.11 11:06:39 by war1 Reply

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