Holloway out of Cheetahs match

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Waratahs backrower Jed Holloway will almost definitely miss the side's clash with the Cheetahs after dislocating his shoulder in training.

Holloway, who has been one of the shining lights for the Waratahs this season, fell awkwardly in a training drill, popping the joint out.

While his shoulder was able to be put back in, the injury could rule him out for two or more weeks.

The number 8 cut a forlorn figure as he was helped off the field, clutching his arm and wincing in pain.

The injury paves the way for veteran number eight Wycliff Palu to start, after playing an impact role off the bench in recent weeks, but could pave the way for a young second rower like Ned Hanigan to come on to the bench for the match.

In more positive news for the Waratahs, two other injury concerns from Friday's captain's run aren't as serious as they first appeared.

Tatafu Polota-Nau watched on for much of the session after appearing to hurt his shoulder, spending most of the morning in the stands icing the joint but is expected to take his starting spot against the Cheetahs.

Winger Reece Robinson was also the subject of some concern, with a recurring shoulder issue, but those worries have been mostly curtailed as the days has progressed.

Israel Folau is also a certainty to play, shaking off an illness that kept him out of training earlier this week.

Tatafu-Polota-Nau returns to the Waratahs starting team to face the Cheetahs. Photo: ARU Media/Stu WalmsleyThe focus for the Waratahs will be on ensuring  they continue their winning momentum into a third week after victories over the Force and the Stormers on the road.

Captain Michael Hooper said the side had begun to find its balance in attack, making smarter decisions across the board.

Hooper said it was the strength of their inside backs - Nick Phipps, Bernard Foley and Kurtley Beale - that had really begun to control their decisions.

“It’s just being smarter with our attacking,” he said.

“We still see ourselves as being able to attack across the field it’s just picking our times and choosing our times more wisely,” he said.

“A big congrats to the game managers who have been able to do that

“Our nines, 10s, 12s - KB’s been great around managing how we play with the ball,”

“Didn’t see much in the first half against the Stormers but we were able to capitalise really well.

“So we know we’re going to get a lot of disjointed ball from the Cheetahs and again it’s up to those guys to be able to control how we’re getting it and how we deliver good ball to the forwards.”

Coach Daryl Gibson said he was pleased with the side’s growing intelligence when it came to match decisions.

“It’s been a work in progress in terms of making good decisions when we choose to run the ball and when to pass and when to kick.

“A lot more clever with our options and not necessarily putting the team under too much pressure by taking the wrong one.”

The Waratahs host the Cheetahs on Saturday night at 7:40pm at Allianz Stadium.