Waratahs vs Highlanders: Five things we learned

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

1.Holloway all the way

Jed Holloway came on late in the Highlanders match but that was all the time he needed to make an impact. A hat-trick from the developing no. 8 nearly pulled the Waratahs to the unlikeliest of comebacks in the final stages. The 23-year-old was picked over Wycliff Palu a fortnight ago and may force the coaches’ hands if this form continues.

2. Waratahs need to prove they’re contenders

Four rounds into the year the Waratahs have faced the reigning champions as well as the Aussie favourites in the Brumbies, and lost to both of them. It is still early in the bigger scheme of things but against the benchmarks of the competition, they’ve fallen short.

3. Keep it simple, stupid

Too often in the opening half were the Waratahs put at a disadvantage due to simple handling errors. Six handling errors to one in the opening half with one leading directly to a Highlanders try, left the Waratahs lamenting lost chances. 

4. Foley needs to fly back into 10

Kurtley Beale had another strong outing for the Waratahs at number 10 but the longer NSW goes without its first choice flyhalf, the bigger the hole he seems to have left. Bernard Foley provides structure for the Waratahs backs, who looked flustered against the Highlanders.

5. The game starts at minute one

It took the Waratahs 56 minutes to get any points on the board but by the 74th they had 26. If they had shown the same sort of intent from the opening minutes, this might have been a rout rather than a painful loss.