Waratahs will relish another scrum battle

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

The Waratahs forwards won’t be worried if their derby against the Brumbies produces another set piece battle.

NSW was locked in a marathon scrum session with the Reds to end their 30-10 win last weekend and forwards coach Cam Blades said they’d be ready if it came down to another set piece face off on Friday night.

“We’ll relish it,” he said.

“Obviously the tight five players are proud about the skills they possess and we’re only going to grow week to week with the new combinations with the new players in the club.

“So if they want to take the game down that road then we'll climb into it as well.”

Blades said the Waratahs starting front row combination of Paddy Ryan and Angus Ta’avao was still evolving and would continue to improve as the season went on.

“Paddy’s learning to play loosehead and adapting to moving back over there so it’ll take that combination a little while,” he said.

“We're really confident that’ll turn out to be a really good combination but also confident (in) some of our young guys coming through.”

The Waratahs will be without prop Benn Robinson on Friday night, after the veteran was still displaying concussion symptoms on Monday.

Robinson had limited game time against the Reds, coming off almost immediately after a head knock, and played only short amounts in trials and Blades said they were confident of covering his absence.

“He’s our most capped Waratah, most-capped Waratahs prop but to be fair this season he's not really been able to take much part in anything we’ve been able to do,” he said.

“He missed half of the off-season and obviously only had limited game time in the trials.

“So whilst it’s a loss overall, in terms of the current environment, he’s played a minute and a half in the first game ...so really we just want him to get healthy and fit again and be a real contender for that starting spot down the track.”

Former Australian U20s prop Matt Sandell will likely come on to the bench for Robinson, with the possibility of making his Super Rugby debut.