Waratahs must learn from Lions defeat

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Hold the ball and stick to the plan.

That will be the simple message for the Waratahs as they prepare for a block of four trans-Tasman Super Rugby clashes, forwards coach Simon Cron says.

Cron said he felt the Waratahs matched the Lions in key areas, but slight shifts away from their plans hurt them.

“The second half, I don't know if we waited for them to play or for me I felt we needed to be more aggressive and keep playing, keep attacking them, but we didn't get past one to two phases and then we'd knock the ball on first phase or we'd drop it in contact,” he said.

“You can't build pressure that way and what we did is instead of building pressure and building phases we just turned the pressure valve off ourselves.

“Then (it was) scrum, scrum, kick to the corner, maul, bounce out try.

“You've got to be able to shut that down.”

Cron said there would be an extensive post-mortem for the team in the next fortnight, before their clash with the Blues in round 12.

“We have to go through every individual and go, Right, what can we do better?’, because you can't afford to play like that and let a team play like that,” he said.

“You can't give them too much respect.

“We gave them too much respect, we let them play in htat last 20 minutes and we gave them too much ball.

“You do that to any team and they'll beat you, doesn't matter who they are.”

Cron said he felt the side had a strong plan in place, but it didn't take much to derail the side against the Lions.

"All it takes is one to two guys to get their role wrong in any defensive system around, for example, a maul and they bounce in a try," he said.

"We've got to fix those things."

With four Kiwi teams to come after their bye, halfback Nick Phipps said they simply couldn’t afford to repeat the same mistakes from Friday night.

“If you don't put teams away, especially teams like that, then they're going to make you pay,” he said.

“They're a super team, they're able to score from anywhere (and) they've got some big boys.

“(We know) full well against Kiwi teams if you turn the ball over they're scoring but it's good for us to be able to learn from that and know where we've got to get to.”

The Waratahs have a bye this week, before hosting the Blues at Brookvale Oval on May 5.