Chiefs vs Waratahs: Five things we learned

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

The Waratahs' finals spots are all but over after a loss to the Chiefs on Saturday night.

What are we talking about after their Hamilton loss? 

1.Brumbies off to the big show

Another run simply left too late has all but ended the Waratahs’ 2017 season on Saturday afternoon. They remain nine points behind the Brumbies after that loss, meaning the ACT simply need a bonus point to effectively secure their finals spot. Unless the Force spring a major upset on the Hurricanes in Perth, even a losing bonus point would put them 10 points clear with two regular season games left, meaning at worst the spot will be decided on points difference.

2. Possession without a score is pointless

The Waratahs had their fair share of possession and were even on top in the territory stakes for most of the first half, but once again failed to take points away from that statistical lead. The Chiefs punished them in their own attacking zone, off the boot and with two tries. A late flurry of points gave them some positivity but that will be little consolation as they return home from a fortnight-long New Zealand tour with no points.

3. Recklessness costs NSW again

Tolu Latu was sitting in the bin before half-time. Photo: Getty ImagesThe Waratahs found themselves a man down just before half-time, with no one to blame but Tolu Latu. A rare ineffective Damien McKenzie kick had been unloaded, but as the Chiefs fullback chased, Latu stuck out his leg to trip McKenzie. It was a straightforward sin bin, and the kind of act that can make a player a liability. Latu needs to curb the brain fades - he’s given away 15 penalties in 12 games this year - if he wants to become a serious Super Rugby force.

4. Skelton responding to omission

WIll Skelton was left out of the Wallabies’ 34-man June Series squad this week, after an indifferent season so far. His response to that could not have been much more emphatic, with the mammoth lock producing one of his best games of 2017 for the Waratahs. While his impending overseas move might have already ended his 2017 Test chances, showing form is the best thing he can do.

5. Beaver gets fairytale 100th

Stephen Donald played his 100th game for the Chiefs. Photo: Getty ImagesStephen Donald is one of the fan favourites of the Chiefs and ‘Beaver’ got his milestone moment against the Waratahs, 12 years after making his debut against NSW. There was little remarkable about his game, but the outpouring of sentiment from teammates, coaches and fans alike this week reflected the legacy he’ll leave on the Super Rugby side.