Waratahs vs Jaguares: Five things we learned

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

The Waratahs have gone down to the Jaguares 40-27 in Sydney.

What are we talking about after that loss?

1. Fans left with bitter taste in sour 2017 farewell

The Waratahs spoke all week of wanting to reward the hardy fans who have sat through seven matches for just two wins this season, but instead they delivered a bitter end to 2017. Their last home game, in front of just 10,992 will be one to forget. They’ve won just two matches at home this season, against the Rebels and the Force, and they’ll be glad to get to the end of this year.

2. Theatre or foul play?

Ned Hanigan copped a yellow card for striking half an hour into the Jaguares game, but it was far from clear cut. Hanigan collected Jaguares flanker Pablo Matera with his forearm, hitting him just under the chin, with his arm slipping up Matera’s face. The flanker dropped immediately to the ground, clutching his nose, before a marathon TMO review put Hanigan in the bin. Hanigan was a bit mischievous on Saturday, also throwing an opponent’s boot into touch midway through the second half.

3. Sydney or Buenos Aires?

The Jaguares It was one of the smaller Waratahs crowds, but you could have been forgiven for thinking you were sitting in Argentina at points during Saturday’s match. The Jagaures fans were loud from the first whistle and had plenty to cheer about from the opening minute. While support for Australia’s sides might be wavering, there is plenty of interest in rugby across the world, a fact showed starkly at Allianz on Saturday.

4. Six months in a leaky defensive unit

The Waratahs’ defence lurched to another black mark against the Jaguares, conceding 40 points for the third consecutive week for the first time in history. It was the Argentinians’ highest score outside of Buenos Aires as well, the second team this season that has set a road record in Sydney. The Waratahs have shown they can score, but it’s stopping opposition scores that has proved to be a far more difficult challenge.

5. No time for introspection

Waratahs captain Michael Hooper said post-match that there would be no time for soul searching as they prepare to face the Force in their final game of the season. Their western counterparts will have nothing to lose and everything to play for in what could be the final game in their history. An effort like the one they put out on Saturday night, even with the added motivation of farewelling three club stalwarts, won’t cut the mustard against the Force in Perth.