History repeating for Waratahs

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

A must-win game against the Hurricanes, with the odds stacked against them.

If it feels like the Waratahs have been here before, that’s because they have, and it’s a situation lock Will Skelton hasn’t forgotten ahead of Saturday’s crucial match up.

Then, the Waratahs pulled off an unlikely win over the eventual finalists, the Kiwi team’s only defeat in the regular season.

Skelton said he could see the parallels between last year’s 29-24 win over the Hurricanes and this Saturday’s game.

“(That was) similar to this, we had our backs against the wall there, no one thought we'd win, we beat them,” he said.

“I think they were on a massive roll on there and we stuck together there and as a unit we turned up physically.

“That's the way we've been winning games this year, we've been very physical and we changed our attitude to play Waratah footy and that's what we're going to try and do this week.”

The Waratahs thumped the Sunwolves. Photo: Getty ImagesThe stakes are a little higher this week, with a win keeping the Waratahs’ finals hopes alive and a bonus point victory potentially propelling them further up the pecking order, a task that Skelton says will only be made possible by playing “Waratah footy”.

“That's us and bonus points - we know if we play attacking footy, bonus points will come but it's not a priority for us,” he said.

“You've got to win games before you talk about bonus points so that's something we're really looking forward to.”

A nine-try win over the Sunwolves was the perfect way for the Waratahs to kick start the final weeks of their season and Skelton said he felt that victory helped them rediscover the momentum that was paused during the June Test break.

“It's always tough after a four-week break,” he said.

“We had four weeks away from each other and you do lose a bit of momentum after that win against the Chiefs.

“I feel personally we did lift there against the Sunwolves and we got that momentum back so we can really try and put our best foot forward against the ‘Canes because they're a tough team.”

The Waratahs host the Hurricanes at Allianz Stadium on Saturday night at 7:40pm, LIVE on FOXSPORTS.