Waratahs vs Crusaders: Five things we learned

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Another trans-Tasman defeat for an Australian Super Rugby side.

What can we take away from that Crusaders win?

1. Kiwi dominance officially at all-time high

Records were broken at Allianz Stadium on Sunday afternoon and unfortunately for the Waratahs, they were on the wrong end of that. The Crusaders’ win was their 10th straight over Australian opposition, a streak no other team has ever been able to hit. It was the fourth Kiwi win over an Australian opposition this weekend, the Rebels, Force and Reds all going down to New Zealand oppositions on Friday and Saturday. Only the Brumbies were spared the Kiwi loss, with their bye this week.

2. Mason solid on debut

He was thrust into a baptism of fire and Mack Mason showed he has some potential, facing up to the Crusaders on Sunday afternoon. His defence lacked potency - he missed six tackles - but he was far from the sole perpetrator in that respect. The 21-year-old looked composed and tried to throw a bit of creativity into the game at times and to be honest, that’s all you could really ask of him.

3. Missed tackles strike again

The Waratahs let too many Crusaders into free space. Photo: Getty ImagesThe Waratahs missed 24 tackles at Allianz on Sunday afternoon. And that was just the first half. They finished with 47 missed tackles for the game, in a stat they simply can’t seem to get away from. Ironically, it’s letting opponents get away that has become their biggest problem.

4. Waratahs cooked before the heat really came on

After a frenetic opening half hour, the Waratahs looked like they simply couldn’t keep up with the Crusaders. Israel Folau looked so tired at one point it almost seemed like he was injured, such was the laboured way he was walking. The entire defensive line looked exhausted and Tim Bateman took full advantage to score the Crusaders’ third. It’s becoming a worrying characteristic of Australian sides, whether it’s down to fitness or mentality.

4. The tank steamrolls over Bridge

Sometimes one moment can spark something in a side and Taqele Naiyaravoro's barging run over George Bridge looked to be that for the Waratahs as they forged their way back into the contest. It wasn't to be in the end but that try will still be talked about this week. That's what Naiyaravoro is in this team for and it's been a while since fans have seen him run over the top of someone like he did on Sunday.

5. Well done, Wyatt

He had to wait until the second half but Crusaders prop Wyatt Crockett joined some illustrious company on Sunday afternoon, equalling Keven Mealamu’s Super Rugby games record. Longevity is more common in rugby these days but 175 matches is an incredible feat and Crockett is now poised to claim the record outright in a fortnight’s time.