The Waratahs went down to the Kings on Friday night.
What did we learn from the surprise result?
1. Sudden death starts now
The Waratahs are barely a mathematical chance of making the finals after a diabolical loss to the struggling Kings. They’re still eight points behind the Brumbies, despite the Canberra side losing to the Hurricanes two hours earlier, and next weekend’s clash with the Queensland Reds will almost certainly decide their fate. Should they win, they’ve still got the faintest of pulses but a loss will sound the death knell.
2. If you’re playing with ball in hand, keep the ball in hand
Friday’s was yet another game where the Waratahs were left to rue missed opportunities of their own making. Eleven handling errors, a weak scrum and some critical brain snaps cost them any momentum they could grasp. They talked during the week about keeping the ball in hand but they could barely hang on to it.
3. Where’s Sekope?
Sekope Kepu missed this clash with the Kings due to suspension and boy, did the Waratahs miss him at scrum time. The Waratahs were battling against the referee before the half-hour mark, as their set piece crumbled. It wasn’t so much Kepu’s direct replacement, Tom Robertson, as it was loosehead Paddy Ryan who earned the scorn of the referee. Their lineout wasn’t much better, with the home side conceding two before half-time.
4. Clark calling Clark
FOX SPORTS’ Greg Clark has done just about everything in the rugby commentary world and onlookers have been eagerly awaiting the moment that came on Friday night. Clark’s son, Cam, scored a sensational try for the Waratahs in the 35th minute, with a 95-metre effort that showed off his Sevens pace. Greg is usually subdued when calling his son but this time he was allowed off the leash and it was just a little bit fantastic to hear.
5. Kings the party poopers
They’ve won just one match this season but the Kings kept a bonus point out of reach in Queensland and they’ve finally slain their dragon on Friday night. Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson said it on Wednesday and he said it at half-time - the Kings have nothing to lose, and that makes them dangerous. Just how dangerous, he might not quite have anticipated, but these Kings have proven themselves as the Super spoilers.