Tahs not-so-super season a catalyst for change

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Waratahs flyhalf Bernard Foley struggled to find a positive from 2017, after their biggest loss to the Force in history put a full stop on an underwhelming season.

Though he found some positives in the progress of debutants they had this year, Foley couldn’t hide his frustration after a 40-11 loss to the Force to end their year.

“Everything about this season’s been disappointing,” he said.

“The only thing we can look it is the guys that have come through, the guys that have excelled in the jersey or debuted.

'Everything about this season has been disappointing'. Photo: Getty ImagesFoley, who during the week maintained his side had the hunger to win, shut down the notion that the Force’s emotional drive simply got the better of the visitors.

“We were aware of it and we empathise with what they’ve gone through and we knew what was coming tonight,” he said.

“We spoke about it, we addressed it, so it’s not like they blindsided it or we were out-enthused.

“In terms of that (idea), they had more to play for, we spoke about what we had to play for and again we fell short.”

The playmaker looked visibly exhausted after a 40-11 loss to the Force to finish their worst season since his first regular season of Super Rugby and said there was only one solution.

“It’s done now, it’s happened, we can’t change any of the score lines, we can’t change the results so we have to learn from it and we have to make a change,” - Bernard Foley.

“That has to come down to each individual, they have to want to change, want to be better because  if you keep turning up doing the same things, you get the same results.”

Whether it’s NRC or the Rugby Championship, Foley said every player had a responsibility to take that challenge on.

"This season we weren’t up to the challenge and we leaked too many points, we missed out in our attack,” he said.

“We’ll work hard for whatever’s coming up.

“Each player in the squad has got an immediate challenge and they have to lift for that and that’s our challenge as rugby players.”

Rob Horne played his last game for the Waratahs on Saturday night. Photo: Getty ImagesOne Waratah who will be just an interested observer in 2018 will be Rob Horne, set to join Northampton in the 2017-18 UK Premiership but the memory of this season is still raw in his mind.

Horne was at NSW along with Foley in the last four-win season in 2012, a year that brought major coaching change.

Aside from change at the top, Horne said they needed to rediscover the meaning of hard work.

“(After 2012), there was a fundamental shift in mentality and mentality towards your work and being the best player you can possibly be and push yourself every day.

“I feel like that’s a growth area for this team and I look forward to watching from afar.

“I’m just pretty disappointed in how we’ve gone about it tonight and I suppose this season." - Rob Horne.

“It’s a year that needs to be a catalyst for change.”

Horne will be waiting to find out whether he will be part of the Wallabies' Rugby Championship squad before deciding on his next step.