Waratahs won't shun attacking approach

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

The Waratahs say they're not turning away from their early season strategy, despite coming home winless from South Africa.

Defence coach Nathan Grey wants to see the side stick more tackles and cough up fewer penalties, but a 1-2 start won’t force them to shun the expansive style they want.

“We’ll definitely persist in what we’re doing and then you look at the reasons why things are being let down in terms of the results,” he said.

“We trained well in Africa, it was a good opportunity to get away  and get together as a side and really took a lot of positives out of that.

“When things aren’t going well, you always look back and think how you can change things and how to tweak things here and there to get a better performance but the foundation of how we’re doing things and how we want to play and our identity, that’s rock solid.”’

Nathan Grey says defence and discipline need to improve. Photo: Getty ImagesGrey said their slippery defence put them on the back foot at times, potentially making the side seem more disjointed than it is.

“We missed a lot of tackles on the weekend so you get the situation where guys are trying to solve and help each other out and it’s probably looking as though we’re a little bit clunky in defence and also in attack as well,” he said.

Captain Michael Hooper, who plays his 100th Super Rugby  game against the Brumbies on Saturday, said it was up to some of the older heads to start to turn the tide in discipline..

“The intent of how we want to affect and disrupt other teams, maybe (we’re) a bit eager at some times, a bit trying to rush a result,” he said.

“I’ve been guilty (of it), a couple of other senior players in the team are guilty of giving away some penalties.

“I mean you look at your own game, you get your coaching staff to help you with that and you’re putting your best foot forward.”

Hooper said he was expecting a fired-up Scott Fardy in Saturday’s clash against the Brumbies, after the flanker was rested against the Force.

“Knowing Fards really well, he’ll be really up for this game,” he said.

“All the Brums I know, they have a focus on this week and they’re goign to have a really good week and they should be excited, just as we are.”

Flyhalf Bernard Foley trained with the Waratahs on Tuesday in a non-contact bib, while Will Skelton began the session doing run-throughs away from the main group.

Skelton, Holloway and Ned Hanigan are all expected to be cleared for Saturday’s derby with the Brumbies.

The Waratahs host the Brumbies on Saturday night, kicking off at 7:45pm AEDT, LIVE on FOX SPORTS and via radio on RUGBY.com.au.