The Waratahs secured a huge victory over the Sunwolves, but what did we learn?
Job done for Waratahs
The Waratahs went into today’s match knowing that the Brumbies had secured a bonus point victory against the Reds, and anything less against the Sunwolves wouldn’t be tolerated for Daryl Gibson’s men. It was a scratchy start for the Waratahs who were down 9-7 after 27 minutes but shortly after NSW stepped up a gear and managed to cross for another eight tries in the remaining 53 minutes to stay in the race for a finals spot
Lucas takes opportunity with open arms
Matt Lucas has happily played backup to Nick Phipps for the season, but after a tough month for Nick Phipps with the Wallabies and Lucas impressing during training, Daryl Gibson rewarded Lucas with the second start of his career, and didn’t he take it with open arms. Lucas darted over for two tries and was influential in a couple more. His afternoon was soured when he limped off in the 68th minute.
No time for rest
It was mentioned early this week about Daryl Gibson potentially resting some of his key Wallaby stars for their clash against the Sunwolves, but the Waratahs coach opted to name a near full-strength side as the race for top spot heats up. The likes of Israel Folau and Bernard Foley played starring roles to set up the convincing lead, and were then rewarded with an early finish once the match was sealed in the 65th minute.
Kellaway breaking through
Andrew Kellaway has been touted as a future star for numerous years, having played two years with the Australia U20s where he broke the try-scoring record in 2014 and captained the side in 2015. Finally given his opportunity at Super Rugby level since Israel Folau’s switch to the centres, Kellaway is looking more and more at home with every game. His solo effort to score right on halftime shows how much potential he has.
We’ve seen the continual rise of Japanese rugby in the last 12 months and while it’s been a tough opening year for the Sunwolves, they continually show fight and flare in attack. Despite the Waratahs clearly boasting numerous game-breakers in the backline, the Sunwolves continued to take the game on and even had the lead after 27 minutes. The Japanese fans are also extremely passionate as seen by the huge crowd, and they love the attacking game plan the Sunwolves insist on playing.