Execution, not excuses, needed for Waratahs forwards

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

The NSW Waratahs forward pack needs execution not excuses, club captain Dave Dennis says.

Ahead of their trip to Perth, Dennis said the forwards needed to make their effort count.

“I think there’s no secret our game’s based around our go forward,” he said.

“At times we haven’t been giving that to our backs but it’s not through lack of effort, it’s through execution.

“Everyone’s trying to do their best to get that go forward and play that attacking style of rugby as a real physical forward pack but various things have affected us.”

Dennis said they couldn’t blame player turnover or anything else for their lacklustre start to the year and called on the pack to step up on Saturday night.

“You could come up with a million different excuses but the reality is teams change,” he said.

“We‘ve got a clear idea of how we want to play we’ve just got to do it instead of standing there talking about it.

“We’re conscious of the fact we need to be better as a forward pack.”

The Waratahs scrum has been under siege in 2016. Photo: Getty imagesThe Brumbies pushed the limits at the breakdown on Saturday night, with a yellow card being handed to Jarrad Butler in the 75th minute and Dennis said he expected the same intensity at the breakdown from the Force.

“Every player will have a bit of a whinge about and say could’ve been a penalty here, could’ve been a penalty there but it’s a tough gig,” he said.

“Every team or every competitive team in that area plays right on the edge and it’s a very hard interpretation some of those things.

“It’s not cheating it’s just pushing the line and the Brumbies do it very well and the Force do it very well."

The Waratahs have struggled against the Force in recent times, even succumbing to the WA franchise in their championship season and Dennis said it was probably fair for the Force to feel a psychological advantage.

“The reality is we’ve lost the last three times we’ve played them so it’s probably a fair comment them saying they know how we play, they know how to beat us because they’ve done it three times.

“They’re a smart football team they’re not having the seasons they’ve planned but that means nothing as shown in the past couple of seasons, when we’ve gone over there.

“So I think we just need to be a little bit smarter about how we play, stick to what we know but not be too predictable and just mix things up a little bit.”

Their front row stocks have taken a hit this week, with Benn Robinson set to miss roughly a fortnight with an eye injury.

“It’s actually a serious injury,” Dennis said.

“He saw the eye specialist on Sunday and he’s got really poor vision out of there and I think he’s got to see them again on Friday, so the chances of him playing are pretty slim.”