Players shoulder responsibility for Waratahs disappointments

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Retiring Waratahs lock Dean Mumm says the players have faith in the bigger picture at the club, with the buck ultimately resting in their hands.

The Waratahs have produced a groundhog season of performances, for just four wins, and it was the same again  in a 40-27 loss to the Jaguares on Saturday night.

“I think from the top down, we’re very happy with what's going on there,” Mumm said.

“A lot of the onus comes back to the players.” - Dean Mumm.

Mumm said players had to bear a great deal of responsibility for their dismal year.

“Losing seasons are not easy and you can try and put fingers on things every which way and ultimately the accountability will come back to us,” he said.

“It’'s a hard thing to do often and again on Monday you take a look, take accountability for what you did and what you didn't do and move on from there."

Dean Mumm in his 2012 farewell game against the Reds. Photo: Getty ImagesNext week’s game in Perth will be Mumm’s second farewell, having already done his series of ‘lasts’ in 2012 before a stint overseas with Exeter.

That first final game was a 32-16 final round loss to Queensland, that put the Reds on top of the Australian conference and into the 2012 finals, in the Waratahs’ most recent four-win year.

This time around, though there is more finality, there is less sentimentality for Mumm. 

“Feels like I'm sneaking a little bit of cake that I shouldn't probably have got,” he said.

“It's always been exciting for me, another real honour to wear the Waratah jumper one more time.”

Mumm is treating this week as his last professional game, not hopeful, or anxious about whether he’ll have another opportunity at Test level.

“I thought there was a number of people that played pretty well in the June Series,” he said.

“When you've got the jersey in your hand it's your opportunity to hold on to it.

“I'm just happy to play one more game in the Waratahs jumper and what happens happens.”

The Rebels and Force banded together after last weekend's match. Photo: Getty ImagesOne of the players who has overtaken Mumm in the Test second row stakes is Adam Coleman, who will likely line up against him in Perth.

“He's playing very well, he's sort of bringing that hard edge to the second row that a lot of teams love,” Mumm said.

“Full credit to Adam who didn't have the traditional pathway to glory in Australian rugby but he's worked bloody hard and he's deserved everything he gets.”

It will be an emotional match, with the possibility of the clash being the Force’s final game ever as the sides await a call on the 2018 Super Rugby make-up.

After their match with the Rebels on Friday night, Force veteran Matt Hodgson addressed an on-field huddle of both sides, to emphasise their commitment to maintaining five Australian teams.

Mumm, who is also RUPA president, was moved by the gesture.

“Everyone's working hard to try and make sure there's resolution one way or another there but it was great to see the guys united in their cause to keep Australian rugby as five teams, that was a really nice thing to see."